SBM Offshore agrees penalty with US DOJ

Netherlands-based FPSO provider SBM Offshore and its US subsidiary have agreed to resolve criminal charges involving bribes in five countries and pay a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) penalty of $238m. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) said that the penalty was set in connection with schemes involving the bribery of foreign officials in Brazil, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan and Iraq, which were in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). SBM USA pleaded guilty on November 29th in connection with the resolution.

Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said that “this corrupt scheme involved some of the highest-level executives within the company, spanned five countries, and lasted for more than a decade”.

SBM entered into a deferred prosecution agreement in connection with a criminal information filed on November 29th in the Southern District of Texas which charged the company with conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA. In addition, SBM USA pleaded guilty and was sentenced on a one-count criminal information charging the company with conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA.

SBM agreed to pay a total criminal penalty of $238m to the US, which included a $500,000 criminal fine and $13.2m in criminal forfeiture that SBM agreed to pay on behalf of SBM USA.

The Justice Department resolution followed guilty pleas from two former SBM executives. On November 9th, Anthony Mace, former CEO of SBM and a former member of the board of directors of SBM USA, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA. On November 6th Robert Zubiate, a former SBM USA executive, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA. Mace and Zubiate are awaiting sentencing.

SBM Offshore provides floating production solutions to the offshore energy industry, over the full product life-cycle.