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Corruption, Crime & Compliance: Deep Dive into The Trafigura FCPA Settlement | Thomas Fox – Compliance Evangelist

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Thomas Fox - Compliance Evangelist

On the heels of the Gunvor FCPA settlement for $661 million, DOJ announced its settlement with Trafigura, the latest commodities trading company to fall under DOJ’s FCPA Sweep against the industry. Trafigura joined the list of international commodity trading companies to suffer FCPA enforcement actions like Vitol, Sergeant Marine, Glencore, Freepoint, and Gunvor.

DOJ’s corporate resolutions are connected to individual prosecutions and guilty See more +

On the heels of the Gunvor FCPA settlement for $661 million, DOJ announced its settlement with Trafigura, the latest commodities trading company to fall under DOJ’s FCPA Sweep against the industry. Trafigura joined the list of international commodity trading companies to suffer FCPA enforcement actions like Vitol, Sergeant Marine, Glencore, Freepoint, and Gunvor.

DOJ’s corporate resolutions are connected to individual prosecutions and guilty pleas of 19 individuals, including six government officials, eight corrupt intermediaries, and five trading companies.

Trafigura Beheer B.V. (“Trafigura”), based in Switzerland, plead guilty and agreed to pay $126 million as part of a plea agreement to resolve FCPA violations in Brazil. Trafigura pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA and agreed to pay a fine of over $80 million and forfeiture of $46 million. DOJ agreed to credit up to $26 million of the fine against the amounts Trafigura pays to resolve an ongoing Brazil investigation.

• Trafigura, a global commodity trading company, pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $126 million to resolve FCPA violations in Brazil, involving a corrupt scheme to pay bribes to Brazilian officials to secure business with Petrobras.

• DOJ cited Trafigura’s cooperation and acceptance of responsibility, including providing timely updates, facilitating employee interviews, and producing relevant documents, but criticized their failure to preserve and produce certain evidence in a timely manner.

• Trafigura’s bribery scheme involved paying bribes to Petrobras officials from 2003 to 2014 to obtain and retain business, with payments ranging from 5 to 20 cents per barrel for oil transactions.

• The bribery payments were facilitated through offshore bank accounts, U.S. banks, and coded language in emails, with Trafigura entities earning approximately $51 million in profits from the scheme.

• DOJ’s successful sweep of the commodities trading industry resulted in six corporate resolutions and 20 individual convictions, totaling over $1.7 billion in penalties, emphasizing the importance of robust compliance and surveillance strategies.

• Trafigura’s lack of compliance oversight and failure to maintain proper third-party due diligence or risk management programs allowed the bribery scheme to operate with impunity, highlighting the need for enhanced controls and monitoring in high-risk industries.

• Despite the challenges faced during the investigation, Trafigura’s guilty plea and cooperation with DOJ demonstrate a commitment to addressing corruption and compliance issues in the global commodity trading sector. See less –

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