The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday (3 December) said Vitol Inc. (Vitol), the U.S. affiliate of the Vitol group of companies, has agreed to pay a combined USD 135 million to resolve the department’s investigation into the company’s violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and to resolve a parallel investigation in Brazil.
The resolution arises out of Vitol schemes to pay bribes to officials in Brazil, Ecuador, and Mexico, said the DoJ.
Vitol has also agreed to disgorge more than USD 12.7 million to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in a related matter and to pay the CFTC a penalty of USD 16 million related to trading activity not covered by the deferred prosecution agreement with the department.
“Over a period of 15 years, Vitol paid millions of dollars in bribes to numerous public officials – in three separate countries – to obtain improper competitive advantages that resulted in significant illicit profits for the company,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
According to the DoJ, Vitol entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the department in connection with a criminal information filed today in the Eastern District of New York charging the company with two counts of conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA.
As part of the deferred prosecution agreement, Vitol Inc. and Vitol S.A., another company within the Vitol group of companies, have agreed to continue to cooperate with the department in any ongoing investigations and prosecutions relating to the conduct, including of individuals; to enhance their compliance programs; and to report to the department on the implementation of their compliance programs.
The events that transpired in the case was published was follows:
First case of bribery between 2005-2014
Second case of bribery between 2015-2020
Photo credit: Bill Oxford
Published: 4 December, 2020
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