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, Julius Baer settles corruption charges in a FIFA bribery case. Read the full story and more news below:
Julius Baer Settles FIFA Corruption Charges:
Swiss Bank Julius Baer Group AG settled charges for about USD 80 M in a FIFA bribery case with U.S. authorities. According to the settlement, Julius Baer was involved in laundering money stemming from bribes between FIFA and several public officials around the world. Spokespersons from both Julius Baer and FIFA declined to comment on the case.
Ericsson AB Settles FCPA Charges:
Swedish information technology company Ericsson AB stated that it would pay USD 97.2M to settle an FCPA damages claim to Nokia Corp. The resolution relates to a multi-country FCPA settlement with the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) related to internal controls violations and book-keeping infringements. According to Ericsson’s announcement, the settlement displays ‘a potential distraction from business focus’ and ‘uncertainty, risk, and an expense’. A Nokia spokesperson stated the settlement was accurate.
U.S. Charges Ex-Austrian Bank CEO in Odebrecht Case:
Peter Weinzierl, the former CEO of Austria’s ABB Bank was charged for bribery in the infamous Odebrecht corruption case by U.S. authorities. According to U.S. prosecutors, Weinzierl conspired to launder money stemming from bribes related to Odebrecht from 2006 to 2016. The payments were allegedly given to public officials in Panama, Mexico, and Brazil where Odebrecht is known to have engaged in large-scale tax evasion. Co-defendant Alexander Waldstein was charged under the same case as well.
U.S. Unveils Charges Against Chadian Diplomats:
U.S. prosecutors unveiled charges against two public officials from Chad accused of receiving bribes from a Canadian company in a ten-year-old case. The former Chad ambassadors to the U.S. and Canada are accused of taking USD 2M in a bribe from Griffith Energy, thus violating the FCPA. Griffith Energy was charged with a USD 10.35M fine in 2013 over a Canada bribery case.
Ecuadorian Official Jailed over Corruption Commits Suicide:
Jose Augusto Briones, a former Secretary-General of the Lenin Moreno administration committed suicide in his jail cell after having been arrested over corruption in April. Briones was arrested for his involvement in a corruption scheme with Ecuador’s state-owned company Petroecuador. Some of the alleged conspirators of the case have pled guilty to laundering USD 3.15M in bribes that were received in return for contracts with Petroecuador.
U.S. DOJ Charges Bolivian Officials in Bribery Scheme:
Arturo Carlos, Murillo Prijic, and another Bolivian official were charged by the U.S. DOJ for being part of a bribery scheme related to contracts with the Bolivian government. Reportedly, two employees of an American oil company, also charged in the case, paid USD 602,000 in bribes, all laundered in American bank accounts. All defendants are facing a potential prison sentence of 20 years.