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 we cover bribery charges on a U.K aircraft company for GBP 2.3M. Read the full story and more news below:
SFO Imposes Bribery Charges on U.K. Aircraft Company:
The U.K. Serious Fraud Office (SFO) charged Airline Services Limited (ASL) GBP 2.3M (USD 2.98M) with bribery related to three Lufthansa contracts. ASL hired an external consultant who also sat at Lufthansa’s tenders department, to evaluate the tenders between the companies. The SFO found that the consultant used sensitive information to provide an unfair advantage to ASL’s tender bids. According to the SFO, ASL failed to implement appropriate anti-corruption controls to prevent bribery from happening.
Former Australia Post CEO Resigns After Cartier Saga:
Christine Holgate, Australia Post’s former CEO, resigned after a government investigation concluded that the decision to provide Cartier watches worth USD 20,000 as executive bonuses, was inappropriate. The former executive expressed deep regret for the government’s decision and stated that the gift was agreed upon by the chair of the company. The former chairman stated that he does not recall authorizing the watches in 2018. Holgate confirmed her departure from Australia Post on November 2nd.
U.S. Judge Approves USD 135M Restitution Payment for Victims of Bribery Scheme in Congo:
A U.S. judge charged the African subsidiary of hedge Och-Ziff Capital Management Group, renamed Sculptor Capital Management Inc., for running a bribery scheme related to mining projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Och-Ziff’s subsidiary pleaded guilty to violating the FCPA and agreed to pay USD 213M. The company will also pay USD 135M in restitution to its shareholders, who lost their investment in the company.
SEC Gives USD 28M Award to Whistleblower:
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a whistleblower award of USD 28M to an individual who helped the agency bring forth a successful enforcement action. According to the SEC, the whistleblower used internal reporting channels first, prompting an internal investigation that saved the company’s and the agency’s staff time and resources. During the past month alone, the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower has given out USD 150M in awards.
Former Transportation Executive Sentenced to Four Years in Prison:
Mark Lambert, the former president of Transportation Logistics, was sentenced to three years of supervised release and a USD 20,000 fine for bribery. The ex-president of the Maryland based transportation company was found to have participated in a scheme to bribe a Russian public official. Lambert, who will start the sentence in February, was given a sentence a year after he was found guilty of violating the FCPA. The co-president of the company also pled guilty to corruption.
World Bank Debars German Manufacturer:
The World Bank announced the debarment of Berky GmbH, a German equipment manufacturer, due to corruption, collusion, and fraud involving a project in Myanmar. The company was developing a water management project funded by the World Bank worth USD 100M. According to the World Bank, Berky financed inappropriate travel expenses that improperly influenced the company’s chances of getting contract benefits. Additionally, the equipment manufacturer did not disclose commissions paid to a local intermediary in Myanmar, constituting a fraudulent practice. Berky is barred from participating in World Bank-financed projects for 30 months.
King Juan Carlos I Faces New a Corruption Investigation:
Spain’s Supreme Court prosecutors have been ordered by the country’s attorney general to open a corruption investigation into former King Juan Carlos I. The royal is suspected of having received a sum of EUR 88M (USD 100M) from Saudi Arabia’s King in 2008 which was stored in an offshore account and allegedly misspent. The payment is related to a deal in which a Spanish construction consortium gained a contract for a high-speed train-line in Saudi Arabia. Juan Carlos, who is also being investigated by Swiss authorities, recently went into exile.
Brazil President’s Son Charged with Corruption:
A few weeks after President Bolsonaro terminated Brazil’s long-running anti-corruption investigation group Lava Jato or Car Wash, his son Flavio Bolsonaro was charged with corruption. The son of the President, who is also a senator, was charged with money laundering, embezzlement, and criminal associations. Flavio was charged with laundering money through a chocolate shop and using state funds to hire large numbers of employees, who reportedly funneled back their salaries to the senator.