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Pennsylvania coal company receives ‘declination with disgorgement’ for Egypt bribes

Corsa Coal Corporation received a declination from the DOJ Monday despite its employees and agents violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by a scheme to bribe Egyptian government officials to win contracts to supply coal to an Egyptian state company.

According to the declination letter, Pennsylvania-based Corsa paid $4.8 million to an Egypt-based intermediary that Corsa’s employees knew would be used, in part, to bribe officials at Al Nasr Company for Coke and Chemicals, including the chairman of Al Nasr.

In exchange for the bribes, Corsa won $143 million in coal contracts from Al Nasr and earned $32.7 million in profits.

Corsa established an inability to fully disgorge the ill-gotten gains sought by the DOJ.

Based on an independent analysis, the DOJ determined that disgorgement of more than $1.2 million would “substantially threaten” Corsa’s continued viability. Accordingly, the DOJ required Corsa to disgorge $1.2 million.

Corsa provided timely and voluntary self-disclosure of the misconduct, full cooperation that included providing information about individuals involved, and “timely and appropriate” remediation, including terminating a sales representative involved with the bribe scheme. The company also “substantially” improved its compliance program and internal controls, the DOJ said.

In March 2022, former coal company executive Charles Hunter Hobson was arrested and charged for his role in an alleged scheme to bribe officials in Egypt in connection with contracts with Al Nasr. The DOJ didn’t disclose the name of Hobson’s employer. He was charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA, two counts of violating the FCPA, one count of conspiracy to launder money, two counts of money laundering, and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The DOJ’s declination letter was addressed to Brian E. Spears and Leslie Cahill at Spears, Manning, Martini, LLC in Southport, Connecticut and Kara Brockmeyer at Debevoise & Plimpton’s Washington office.

Corsa’s securities trade in the U.S. on the over-the-counter market and in Canada on the TSX Venture Exchange.

The company said in a statement Monday the Royal Canadian Mounted Police concluded an investigation into the Egypt bribery “without recommending that any charges be laid.”

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