SBM Offshore reaches $238m agreement with US DOJ on bribery charges

Dutch firm SBM Offshore’s US subsidiary pleaded guilty in an American court to a bribery charge on Wednesday.

Parent company SBM Offshore is a world leader in floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) facilities.

SBM Offshore USA Inc, along with its parent company, signed a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) in the Southern District of Texas.

Under the deal SBM resolved charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and agreed to pay fines of $238m.

The FCPA violations pertain to schemes to bribe officials of Brazil, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan and Iraq.

DOJ acknowledged that SBM has co-operated with it and has taken remedial action such as firing employees involved in the bribery and ending relationships with agencies and third arties that were similarly tainted.

The company has been hard hit in recent years because of its participation in the bribes-for-inflated-contracts scheme that has hamstrung Brazil’s state oil firm Petrobras.

In 2014 SBM paid Dutch authorities $240m for Petrobras-related settlements and in 2016 it set aside $280m for more Brazilian settlements.

Earlier this month (November), it admitted putting on hold some tenders in Brazil pending the resolution of issues in that country.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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