Thursday, December 13, 2007
The SEC charged the former Chairman and CEO of Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc., with violating anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by approving cash payments and other gifts to officials at Chinese government-owned steel mills to entice their business. Without admitting or denying the allegations, Robert W. Philip of Portland, Ore., agreed to pay more than $250,000 to settle the SEC’s charges. The SEC alleges that from at least 1999 through 2004, Philip authorized payment of more than $200,000 in cash bribes and other gifts to managers at government-owned steel mills in China to induce them to purchase scrap metal from Portland-based Schnitzer. The Commission alleges that Schnitzer generated more than $96 million in revenue and more than $6.2 million in profits from sales to customers who had received the improper payments. The complaint further alleges that Philip authorized more than $1.7 million in payments to managers of privately owned steel mills in both China and South Korea, generating more than $500 million in additional revenue for the company.