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Rolls-Royce Agrees to Pay More Than $800 Million In Bribery Settlement

  • Anahit Moumjian
  • January 18, 2017
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In a news release on Monday, Rolls-Royce said it has agreed to settle its bribery and corruption cases with U.S., U.K., and Brazilian authorities by paying over $800 million to the countries in question.

The cases involve bribery and corruption of intermediaries in markets overseas. The company cooperated with authorities on the cases, admitting guilt in some dealings,  and also claims to have passed its own concerns from 2012 onward about the matter to the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office.

A BBC report reveals that some of the cases go back decades further, and also involve local companies in countries where Rolls-Royce has few representatives. These local companies then deal with sales, distribution, repair and maintenance.  Rolls-Royce admitted to bribing officials in Kazakhstan, Thailand, Brazil, Azerbaijan, Angola and Iraq in order to obtain contracts in those countries, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

U.S. authorities said that in among the bribes, Rolls-Royce used an intermediary to pay a Brazilian official $1.6 million in order to win multiple oil equipment contracts from Petrobras.

Rolls-Royce has reached a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office and the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as a leniency agreement with Brazil’s Ministerio Publico Federal. The Department of Justice will receive $170 million, and the Ministerio Publico Federal will receive $25.6 million in the settlement.

The DPA with the Serious Fraud Office was the subject of a preliminary court ruling on Monday. The proposed DPA was finalized after Rolls-Royce appeared in court on Tuesday to finalize the agreement. These voluntary agreements save the company from a prosecution trial, so long as the terms and penalty are fulfilled. The settlement includes $616 million plus interest to the Serious Fraud Office.

Warren East, the company’s chief executive officer, apologized in a statement “unreservedly” for the bribery and corruption. The statement said that the company is in the process of cutting back on the use of middlemen and overhauling its compliance rules.

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Anahit is a poetry nerd with a highly specialized sense of humor that consists almost entirely of zoomed in pictures of peoples' faces. When she's not picking apart T.V. shows for their obvious plots, she is plotting her next hiking expedition.