Thursday, March 18, 2010
The DOJ reports that "Innospec Inc., a Delaware corporation, pleaded guilty today to defrauding the United Nations (UN), to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and to violating the U.S. embargo against Cuba." The plea was to a "12-count information charging wire fraud in connection with Innospec’s payment of kickbacks to the former Iraqi government under the UN Oil for Food Program (OFFP), as well as FCPA violations in connection with bribe payments it made to officials in the Iraqi Ministry of Oil. Innospec also admitted to selling chemicals to Cuban power plants, in violation of the U.S. embargo against Cuba." The company agreed to pay $14.1 million and to retain an independent compliance monitor. It is interesting to see that the British subsidiary also plead guilty today in London and Innopec Ltd "will pay a criminal penalty of $12.7 million." It is also interesting to see the international cooperation in securing this result.
Innospec has a "Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Policy" online that is dated February 2010.
But Christopher Matthews. Main Justice, has an interesting story titled, Judge Blasts Compliance Monitors at Innospec Plea Hearing.
Many cases have deferred prosecution or non-prosecution agreements that allow the DOJ to oversee much of what happens, putting the companies at a disadvantage (see here). But it is nice to see, here, in this plea agreement that the judiciary is questioning the costs of compliance monitors.
See also The FCPA Blog here