Washington, D.C., May 29, 2013 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged France-based oil and gas company Total S.A. with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by paying $60 million in bribes to intermediaries of an Iranian government official who then exercised his influence to help the company obtain valuable contracts to develop significant oil and gas fields in Iran.
The SEC alleges that Total made more than $150 million in profits through the bribery scheme. Total attempted to cover up the true nature of the illegal payments by entering into sham consulting agreements with intermediaries of the Iranian official and mischaracterizing the bribes in its books and records as legitimate “business development expenses” related to the consulting agreements. Total had inadequate systems to properly review the consulting agreements and lacked sufficient internal controls to comply with federal laws prohibiting bribery.
Total, whose securities are publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, agreed to pay more than $398 million to settle the SEC’s charges and a parallel criminal matter announced today by the U.S. Department of Justice.
“Total used illicit payments to win business in Iran, and reaped substantial financial benefits as a result,” said Andrew M. Calamari, Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office. “Total must now pay back all of its profits from the company’s corrupt conduct and additionally pay criminal penalties on top of that ...Zum vollständigen Artikel