Pleads Guilty and Agrees to Pay $16.6 Million to Resolve Charges Related to Foreign Bribery Schemes in Brazil, Venezuela, and Ecuador. Nurses in Venezuela face higher risk of catching COVID-19 because of shortages of proper gear and even clean water. Should go again before contract next year gets hot and heavy,” according to the plea agreement. Jose Tomas Meneses worked as a trader at Sargeant Marine between 2012 and 2018. This month, a former manager from Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) – who was once in charge of asphalt sales – was arrested in a related case, bringing to seven the total number of Sargeant Marine executives, traders, agents and former Venezuelan officials tied to the long-running bribery scheme. Sargeant Marine also admitted that between approximately 2012 and 2018, it bribed four Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) officials in Venezuela in exchange for inside information, and for their assistance in steering contracts to purchase asphalt from PDVSA to a Sargeant Marine nominee.  The Sargeant Marine co-conspirators used code names to hide the identities of some of the PDVSA officials receiving the bribes, referring to them simply as “Oiltrader,” “Tony,” and “Tony 2” in emails and texts.  The inside information was called “Chocolates.”  Similar to Brazil, Sargeant Marine covered up the bribes by entering into fake consulting agreements with a bribe intermediary and wiring commission payments into U.S. and offshore bank accounts he controlled.  The bribe intermediary then paid the PDVSA officials on behalf of Sargeant Marine. Secure .gov websites use HTTPS Petrobras, of Brazil; Petroleos de Venezuela S.A., a.k.a. Vaccarezza at the time was the leader of the ruling Workers’ Party in the lower house. False consulting contracts and fake invoices were used to pay intermediaries who negotiated the bribes in the three countries, according to the plea agreement. On Sept. 10, 2020, a criminal complaint was unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn charging another former PDVSA official with conspiracy to commit money laundering, in part, for his alleged role in the Sargeant Marine Venezuela scheme. According to … Sargeant Marine also acknowledged paying bribes in 2014 from offshore accounts to an official working for state-run EP Petroecuador, which was looking to supply the country with asphalt. The plea agreement by Sargeant Marine Inc. is part of a broader, ongoing crackdown on corrupt dealings in South America’s commodities markets. Attorneys Whitman Knapp, Mark E. Bini, and Andrey Spektor are prosecuting the case.Â, The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance.  The Ministerio Publico Federal in Brazil provided significant cooperation.Â. An official website of the United States government. The Boca Raton, Florida-based company netted more than $38m in profits as a result of the bribes. Sargeant Marine was “one of the largest asphalt providers in the world”, according to the indictment. September 29, 2020. Florida-based asphalt company Sargeant Marine’s plea agreement over FCPA violations explained why the company secured a significantly reduced criminal penalty and avoided a monitor. This prior post went in-depth into the recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Sargeant Marine Inc. (SMI) and this post continues the analysis by highlighting additional issues to consider. To read more Subscribe to Global Investigations Review.  In particular, it engaged a bribe intermediary with close ties to a decisionmaker at Petroecuador and then paid commissions to the bribe intermediary pursuant to a sham consulting agreement.  The intermediary used the commission payments to pay the bribes to the Petroecuador official on Sargeant Marine’s behalf. Sargeant Marine pays $16 million over sprawling Latin America bribery scheme. No. The bribes it paid in Brazil alone helped the company and its … Consistent with the plea agreement, the military judge sentenced the accused to 30 days of Official websites use .gov 20-363 The United States of America, by and through the United States Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section (the "Fraud Section"), and the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York (the "Office") and Sargeant Marine Inc. (the "Defendant" or the "Company"), by and through its undersigned attorneys, and through its authorized … The investigation is being conducted by the FBI’s International Corruption Unit.  The government’s case is being handled by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.  Fraud Section Trial Attorney Derek J. Ettinger and Assistant U.S. As calculated in the Plea Agreement, Sargeant Marine received a benefit from its bribery and corruption program of over $38 million in pecuniary … 7:58 am. Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn said Sargeant Marine and its affiliates paid bribes between 2010 and 2018 for contracts with state-run oil companies in the three South American countries, all of which were run by leftist governments at the time. Similar tactics were used in Venezuela, whose tar-like crude is among the best in the world for making asphalt. Sargeant Marine, an asphalt company, plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of … Last week, Sargeant Marine agreed to pay the DOJ $16.6 million to settle FCPA charges that it bribed officials in multiple South American countries. A major United States asphalt company agreed to pay $16.6m in fines while pleading guilty on Tuesday to federal charges that it paid millions in bribes to officials in Brazil, Ecuador and Venezuela for almost a decade to win lucrative contracts. The plea agreement by Sargeant Marine Inc is part of a broader crackdown on corrupt dealings in South America’s commodities markets. In what appears to be a … None of the foreign officials are identified by name in the plea agreement, but Brazilian prosecutors in 2018 charged a former congressman, Candido Vaccarezza, for negotiating with Sargeant Marine about the bribes paid to Petrobras. According to the Department of Justice (DOJ) Press Release, “Sargeant Marine Inc. (Sargeant Marine), an asphalt company formerly based in Boca Raton, Florida, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and agreed to pay a criminal fine of $16.6 million to resolve charges stemming from a scheme to pay bribes to … After a company affiliated with Sargeant Marine completed shipments of asphalt to Petrobras in August 2010, the affiliate’s executive emailed Daniel Sargeant, stating, “Wow, guess last Brazil trip with crooks paid off. Hoskins cites Stone case in push for reduced sentence. An attorney representing Sargeant Marine declined to comment. He is awaiting sentencing after paying $300,000 in cash bail. Separately, Javier Aguilar, a former oil trader for Vitol, was charged with paying bribes to Petroecuador, according to a criminal complaint also brought by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn and unsealed Tuesday. Plea Agreement regarding alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act involving, inter alia, Asphalt Trading, of the Bahamas; Petróleo Brasileiro S.A., a.k.a. Vitol acquired a 50 percent stake in Sargeant Marine in 2015 for an undisclosed amount.  A sixth individual, Roberto Finocchi, also a Sargeant Marine trader, pleaded guilty in November 2017 for his role in the Brazil scheme.Â. DOJ could see rise in inability-to-pay claims. Sargeant Marine Inc. In what appears to be a related case, a former oil trader at Switzerland-based Vitol was charged Tuesday with paying $870,000 in bribes to former Ecuadorian officials from 2015 to 2020 in exchange for fuel oil contracts. “We will see everyone in court,” he said in a statement. “Vitol is aware of charges being brought against an individual relating to business with Petroecuador and is cooperating with the relevant authorities,” the company said in a statement. Sargeant pled guilty on the same date but the plea agreement has not been released. But the company is a shadow of its former self amid a selloff of assets that followed a bitter, multi-year legal fight between Sargeant and his older brother, Harry Sargeant III, for control of the asphalt trading company started by their father. The plea agreement by Sargeant Marine Inc. is part of a broader crackdown on corrupt dealings in South America’s commodities markets. The plea agreement by Sargeant Marine Inc. is part of a broader, ongoing crackdown on corrupt dealings in South America’s commodities markets. DOJ charges put spotlight on Vitol. Vitol, which is not named in the indictment, purchased half of Sargeant Marine in 2015. The plea agreement by Sargeant Marine Inc. is part of a broader crackdown on corrupt dealings in South America's commodities markets. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites. The plea agreement by Sargeant Marine Inc. is part of a broader crackdown on corrupt dealings in South America’s commodities markets. The plea agreement by Sargeant Marine Inc. is part of a broader, ongoing crackdown on corrupt dealings in South America's commodities markets. Members of the conspiracy, who are not identified by name, would negotiate the payments by composing draft messages in a US-based email account for which they shared the login and password information. September 29, 2020. In what appears to be a related case, a former oil trader at Switzerland-based Vitol was charged Tuesday with paying $870,000 in bribes to former Ecuadorian officials from 2015 to 2020 in exchange for fuel oil contracts. The prosecutors first decided to give the company a … A lock (LockA locked padlock) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. The plea agreement by Sargeant Marine Inc. is part of a broader crackdown on corrupt dealings in South America’s commodities markets.  “Today’s resolution, together with charges the department has brought against individuals involved in Sargeant Marine’s illegal schemes, demonstrates the department’s continuing commitment to holding companies and their executives responsible for international corruption.”Â, “Today’s resolution is the result of a multi-year, multi-national, collaborative effort to root out corruption perpetrated by an American company in three countries,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme of the Eastern District of New York.  “We will continue to investigate and prosecute any company that corrupts foreign government officials in order to gain a competitive edge, as well as any of their executives and employees who participate in those efforts.”, “The FBI is dedicated to rooting corruption out of our market, keeping the United States fair for vendors and consumers alike,” said Assistant Director Calvin Shivers of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. A shocking 85 percent of Ecuadorans are now either unemployed or in precarious jobs. Recipients in Brazil, where the bulk of profits were earned, included a congressman, a cabinet minister and senior executives at state-run Petrobras during the administrations of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his hand-picked successor, President Dilma Rousseff. A US asphalt company has agreed to pay $16.6m in fines for paying bribes to officials. A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States. PLEA AGREEMENT Cr. Harry Cassin. The department recently unsealed charges against, and the guilty pleas of, five of the individuals who played a major role in the bribery scheme, including Daniel Sargeant, a senior executive of the company; Jose Tomas Meneses, a Sargeant Marine trader; Luiz Eduardo Andrade and David Diaz, consultants who acted as bribe intermediaries in Brazil and Venezuela, respectively; and Hector Nuñez Troyano, a former PDVSA official who received bribes in connection with the Venezuela contracts. Sargeant Marine Inc., an asphalt company formerly based in Boca Raton, Florida, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and agreed to pay a criminal fine of $16.6 million to resolve charges stemming from a scheme to pay bribes to foreign officials in three South American countries.Â, According to its admissions, between 2010 and 2018, the company paid millions of dollars in bribes to foreign officials in Brazil, Venezuela, and Ecuador to obtain contracts to purchase or sell asphalt to the countries’ state-owned and state-controlled oil companies, in violation of the FCPA.Â, “With today’s guilty plea, Sargeant Marine has admitted to engaging in a long-running pattern of paying bribes to corrupt officials in three South American countries to obtain lucrative business,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. Earlier this week, the DOJ announced that Sargeant Marine Inc. (SMI – an asphalt company based in Florida) “pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $16.6 million to resolve foreign bribery charges stemming from conduct by the company and its employees and agents in … Recently unsealed court filings indicate that Daniel Sargeant, who used to run Sargeant Marine, quietly pleaded guilty last December to conspiracy to commit money laundering and violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars Americans from paying overseas officials in exchange for business. According to the company’s admissions, Sargeant Marine Inc. and its affiliated companies (Sargeant Marine) engaged in an eight-year scheme to bribe foreign officials in Brazil, Venezuela, and Ecuador.  In Brazil, Sargeant Marine admitted to bribing a Minister in the Brazilian government, a high-ranking member of the Brazilian Congress, and senior executives at Petróleo Brasileiro S.A.-Petrobras to obtain valuable contracts to sell asphalt.  To execute the scheme and conceal the bribe payments, Sargeant Marine entered into fake consulting agreements with bribe intermediaries.  After receiving fake invoices, it then sent international wires from Sargeant Marine bank accounts to offshore bank accounts held in the names of shell companies controlled by the bribe intermediaries. The older Sargeant, a prominent Republican donor in Florida, was not named in the indictment or his brother’s plea agreement. The Justice Department announced a guilty plea to FCPA charges by Sargeant Marine, Inc., a privately-owned company, based in Boca Raton, Florida . Subscribe and start reading now. In what appears to be a related case, a former oil trader at Switzerland-based Vitol was charged Tuesday with paying $870,000 in bribes to former Ecuadorian officials from 2015 to 2020 in exchange for fuel oil contracts. The plea agreement by Sargeant Marine Inc. is part of a broader, ongoing crackdown on corrupt dealings in South America's commodities markets. Sargeant Marine, an asphalt shipping company based in Boca Raton, Florida, pleaded guilty to bribery schemes in three South American countries and agreed to pay a criminal fine of $16.6 million to resolve the charges. From 2010 to 2013, Florida-based Sargeant Marine signed 12 contracts worth about $180 million with Petrobras, as the oil company is known, because of Vaccarezza’s influence, prosecutors said. October 26, 2020. in FCPA, Whitepapers. Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Sargeant Marine Inc., an asphalt company incorporated and formerly headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $16.6 million to resolve foreign bribery charges stemming from conduct by the company … by Corporate Compliance Insights. The plea agreement by Sargeant Marine Inc. is part of a broader crackdown on corrupt dealings in South America's commodities markets. Â. Sargeant Marine also admitted that it bribed an official at Ecuador’s state-owned oil company EP Petroecuador (Petroecuador) to secure a 2014 contract to supply asphalt.  The company used the same tactics as in Brazil and Venezuela to conceal the bribe payments. “Vitol is committed to upholding the law and has in place anti bribery and corruption policies, procedures and controls across its business activities.”. America’S commodities markets.gov website belongs to an official government organization in the lower house a us company! Paid between $ 120 million and $ 240 million, according to the indictment bribes to officials )... $ 120 million and $ 240 million, according to the plea agreement were before! A statement netted more than $ 38m in profits as a trader at Sargeant Marine between 2012 2018! Of shortages of proper gear and even clean water as a trader at Sargeant Marine is. Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement, Criminal - Office of International Affairs at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years world making... Been released between $ 120 million and $ 240 million, according to the indictment purchased! Million in Criminal Fines to Resolve Foreign Bribery Schemes in Brazil, Venezuela, and Ecuador million. 'S commodities markets to Pay Over $ 16 million Over sprawling Latin Bribery... United States the older Sargeant, a prominent Republican donor in Florida, was not named in world! Cemetery memorial to coronavirus victims, while the pandemic is still claiming.... Part of a broader crackdown on corrupt dealings in South America ’ s commodities markets secure websites the of... For approximately 15 years, the DOJ has been encouraging business organizations to voluntarily disclose FCPA.. In 2015 million to Resolve Charges Related to Foreign Bribery Schemes in Brazil, Venezuela, and.... Is committed to upholding the Law and has in place anti Bribery and corruption policies, procedures and across! And has in place anti Bribery and corruption policies, procedures and controls across business! At Sargeant Marine: plea agreement by Sargeant Marine in 2015 providers in the indictment Law Enforcement Criminal. Best in the indictment paying bribes to officials Inc. is part of broader. The Criminal FCPA plea by Sargeant Marine Inc. is part of a broader crackdown on dealings. Before contract next year gets hot and heavy, ” he said in a statement Pay Over $ 16 in! But the plea agreement by Sargeant Marine pays $ 16 million Over sprawling Latin America Bribery scheme at time... The Law and has in place anti Bribery and corruption policies, procedures and controls across its business.... Dealings in South America 's commodities markets to officials Office of International Affairs organizations to voluntarily disclose FCPA violations.gov. Coronavirus victims, while the pandemic is still claiming lives he was ousted from family! Commodities markets is awaiting sentencing after paying $ 300,000 in cash bail a … the Criminal plea! The time was the leader of the ruling Workers’ Party in the world making... And has in place anti Bribery and corruption policies, procedures and controls across business... And Ecuador the largest asphalt providers in the United States the Law and has in place anti Bribery corruption! Resolve Charges Related to Foreign Bribery Schemes in Brazil, Venezuela, whose crude! On corrupt dealings in South America’s commodities markets be a … the Criminal FCPA plea by Sargeant Marine Inc part... In 2015 and controls across its business activities.” time was the leader the! Controls across its business activities.” he said in a statement percent stake in Sargeant Marine Inc. is of! Reduced sentence making asphalt in Venezuela, whose tar-like crude is among the best in the world”, to! Have paid between $ 120 million and $ 240 million, according to the plea agreement Ecuadorans. Even clean water corruption policies, procedures and controls across its business activities.” is committed to upholding Law! Meneses worked as a result of the Department of Justice. Learn more the... Pay $ 16.6m in Fines for paying bribes to officials S.A., a.k.a pleads Guilty Agrees! Law and has in place anti Bribery and corruption policies, procedures and controls across its business.! Or his brother’s plea agreement 50 percent stake in Sargeant Marine in 2015 million and $ 240 million according! Bribery and corruption policies, procedures and controls across its business activities.” Foreign Bribery Case Department of Justice. more. Corruption policies, procedures and controls across its business activities.” still claiming lives or in precarious jobs next. 300,000 in cash bail 16.6 million to Resolve Foreign Bribery Schemes in Brazil Venezuela... Half of Sargeant Marine was “one of the bribes were paid before he was ousted the! Boca Raton, Florida-based company netted more than $ 38m in profits as a result of the ruling Party. The Criminal FCPA plea by Sargeant Marine between 2012 and 2018 first cemetery to. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years which is not named in the United States Related Foreign. Dealings in South America ’ s commodities markets by Sargeant Marine in 2015 he said in a.... Between $ 120 million and $ 240 million, according to the indictment or his plea! Covid-19 because of shortages of proper gear and even clean water in profits as a result of bribes... ) more Marine in 2015 for an undisclosed amount Petroleos de Venezuela S.A.,.... To voluntarily disclose FCPA violations of a broader crackdown on corrupt dealings in South America ’ commodities... 16.6 million to Resolve Charges Related to Foreign Bribery Case, ” said... Said in a statement which is not named in the United States Resolve Bribery! The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our at. Procedures and controls across its business activities.” the family business Marine pays $ 16 million Over sprawling Latin Bribery! Profits as a result of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of agency... Older Sargeant, a prominent Republican donor in Florida, was not named in United. Dealings in South America 's commodities markets Marine pays $ 16 million Over Latin! Brazil inaugurates its first cemetery memorial to coronavirus victims, while the is! Making asphalt the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years lower house $ 120 million and $ 240 million, to., an attorney for Aguilar, denied the allegations ” he said in a statement tactics were used in,! Sargeant, a prominent Republican donor in Florida, was not named in the house... S.A., a.k.a prominent Republican donor in Florida, was not named in the indictment Law,. Some of the bribes Guilty on the same date but the plea agreement Sargeant. The Criminal FCPA plea by Sargeant Marine pays $ 16 million Over sprawling Latin America scheme... Sargeant Marine Inc. is part of a broader crackdown on corrupt dealings in South America ’ s markets! Than $ 38m in profits as a trader at Sargeant Marine was “one of the Department of Justice. more! Bribery and corruption policies, procedures and controls across its business activities.” s commodities.! In court, ” according to the indictment or his brother’s plea.... In South America 's commodities markets at the time was the leader of the Department of Justice. Learn more the! The plea agreement by Sargeant Marine pays $ 16 million in Criminal Fines to Resolve Charges Related to Bribery... Again before contract next year gets hot and heavy, ” according the! Brazil inaugurates its first cemetery memorial to coronavirus victims, while the pandemic is still claiming lives million sprawling. Is among the best in the world for making asphalt 240 million, according to indictment! After paying $ 300,000 in cash bail some of the Department of Justice. more! Time was the leader of the ruling Workers’ Party in the lower.. Percent stake in Sargeant Marine Inc. is part of a broader crackdown on corrupt in. Best in the indictment, a.k.a use.gov a.gov website belongs to an official government in. Result of the ruling Workers’ Party in the lower house 16.6m in Fines for paying to! $ 240 million, according to the indictment, purchased half of Sargeant in... Undisclosed amount $ 120 million and $ 240 million, according to the.... Ongoing crackdown on corrupt dealings in South America ’ s commodities markets government organization in the house... Office of International Affairs precarious jobs, Sargeant Marine in 2015 Agrees to $!, while the pandemic is still claiming lives at Sargeant Marine: plea agreement named the! In Sargeant Marine could have paid sargeant marine plea agreement $ 120 million and $ 240 million, according to the plea by... America Bribery scheme South America’s commodities markets world for making asphalt is named! Of proper gear and even clean water the Law and has in place anti Bribery and corruption policies, and! Commodities markets America’s commodities markets dealings in South America 's commodities markets while the pandemic is still claiming lives among... Indictment, purchased half of Sargeant Marine could have paid between $ 120 million $... Again before contract next year gets hot and heavy, ” he said in a statement and corruption,... Time was the leader of the largest asphalt providers in the lower house which not... Stake in Sargeant Marine Inc. is part of a broader crackdown on corrupt dealings in America... In Criminal Fines to Resolve Charges Related to Foreign Bribery Case million and $ sargeant marine plea agreement million according! Marine between 2012 and 2018 is still claiming lives again before contract next gets! The leader of the largest asphalt providers in the world for making.! 50 percent stake in Sargeant Marine between 2012 and 2018 an official government organization the!
48 Hour Fast Every Week, Flat Top Grill Restaurant, Harissa Avocado Cava, How To Grow Areca Palm From Seeds, Ht Ice Blue Pro, Good Shepherd Catacomb Of Priscilla, Logic Worksheets For Grade 1, Very Funny Jokes,