Rolls-Royce to Pay U.S. $170 million to Settle Bribery Case

(CN) – Rolls-Royce will pay the United States $170 million as part of an $800 million global settlement to resolve claims it routinely bribed government officials in exchange for lucrative government contracts.

The UK-based company manufactures and distributes power systems for the aerospace, defense, marine and energy sectors.

According to prosecutors, the company resorted to bribing government officials across the globe for more than a decade, its goal being to secure contracts and otherwise gain an advantage over competitors.

In its deferred prosecution agreement with prosecutors in the U.S., the United Kingdom and Brazil, Rolls-Royce admitted that between 2000 and 2013, the company conspired to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by paying more than $35 million in bribes through third parties to foreign officials in various countries in exchange for those officials’ assistance in providing the company with confidential information and contracts.

In Thailand, for instance, the company admitted paying about $11 million in bribes to officials at state-owned or state-controlled oil and gas companies to secure seven contracts during the same time period.

In Brazil, Rolls-Royce says, it used intermediaries to pay about $9.3 million in bribes to officials at a state-owned petroleum corporation in exchange for an unspecified number of contracts.

Other bribery schemes were carried out in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Angola, and Iraq.

Under the terms of the deferred prosecution agreement, which was filed in the Southern District of Ohio on Dec. 20, 2016, but not unsealed until Tuesday, Rolls-Royce is charged with conspiring to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA.

In addition to paying the criminal penalty Rolls-Royce also agreed to continue to cooperate fully with the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation, including its investigation of individuals.

In related proceedings, Rolls-Royce also settled with the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office and the  Brazilian Ministério Público Federal.

As part of its agreement with the Serious Fraud Office, Rolls-Royce admitted to paying additional bribes or failing to prevent bribery payments in connection with its business operations in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Russia and Thailand between 1989 and 2013, and to pay a fine of £497,252,645 ($604,808,392).

As part of its leniency agreement with Brazilian prosecutors, Rolls-Royce also agreed to pay $25,579,170 for the company’s role in a conspiracy to bribe foreign officials in Brazil between 2005 and 2008.

The Justice Department said the Brazilian agreement includes bribes that were also subject to prosecution here.

As a result, the department said it credited more than $25 million that Rolls-Royce agreed to pay Brazil against  the total fine in the U.S.

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