Welcome to This Week In Compliance: GAN’s weekly news roundup, where we curate the latest stories on compliance and anti-corruption to keep you informed. This week, a former Glencore executive admits to bribery. Read the full story and more news below:
Former Glencore Executive Admits to Bribery:
Anthony Stimler, a former Glencore PLC trader, admitted to a large-scale bribery scheme in Nigeria. Stimler, who worked in the Nigeria office, violated the FCPA and conspired to launder money. According to the charges, Stimler orchestrated corrupt payments worth millions of dollars through intermediaries in exchange for contracts with Nigeria’s state-owned oil corporation. The bribes were funneled through the Swiss and U.S. financial systems. Glencore released a statement recognizing the plea, dismissing the conduct as ‘unacceptable’ and stating that it had bettered its compliance efforts since the incident.
U.K. Investigates Corrupt Mine Deals in DR Congo:
The U.K. Serious Fraud Office (SFO) announced an investigation into allegedly corrupt mining deals between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and several foreign companies between 2006 to 2011. According to the SFO’s investigators, foreign companies paid USD 360M in bribes to Congolese authorities. Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler is suspected of being part of the scheme, even though his name has not been disclosed but is referred to by the pseudonym ‘C.’
Ohio Energy Company Settles Corruption Case for USD 230M:
Ohio-based energy company FirstEnergy settled bribery charges with the Department of Justice for USD 230M. According to the charges, the company paid USD 60M to an NGO called Generation Now, which was used to funnel resources to politicians and lobbyists to pass legislation that would bail out two of the company’s power plants. The company reached a deferred prosecution agreement in which it committed to ramping up its compliance procedures and increasing the transparency of the company’s payments to public officials. The company also admitted to using ‘dark money groups’ to hide the corruption web.
TSB Pays USD 3.85M for AML Failures:
Scotland-based TSB Bank agreed to pay USD 3.85M after admitting it failed to comply with anti-money laundering regulations policed by Scotland’s Reserve Bank. TSB was issued an official warning of potential AML violations five years ago. According to the settlement, TSB lacked internal controls and procedures and failed to conduct proper risk assessments.
Guatemala’s Top Anti-Corruption Prosecutor Flees Country:
Juan Francisco Sandoval, the former head of Guatemala’s Commission Against Impunity, was fired and left to El Salvador to ‘protect his life’. Guatemala’s Commission Against Impunity was instituted to operate in collaboration with the UN’s International Commission Against Impunity, which left the country in 2019. Human Rights Watch and other international human rights organizations expressed disapproval of the Attorney General’s decision to fire Sandoval, who had championed many important corruption investigations in the country.
Vatican Starts Corruption Trial:
The Vatican began a new corruption trial accusing several high-ranking religious figures of corruption. Cardinal Angelo Becciu, who was the chief of staff in the Vatican state, faces financial crime charges. Ten other defendants face charges of corruption, fraud, embezzlement, and abuse of office. Pope Francis fired Angelo Becciu in 2020 after he was involved in another corruption scandal.