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FCPA Scorecard Blog

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act & Anti-Corruption

Businessman Pleads Guilty to Foreign Bribery in Petroleos Scheme

Venezuela Petroleos de Venezuela

On June 16, the DOJ announced that Roberto Enrique Rincon Fernandez, the owner of several U.S.-based energy companies, had pleaded guilty to bribery charges related to a scheme to corruptly secure energy contracts from Venezuela's state-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela (Petroleos).  This stems from the previously reported December 2015 charges against Mr. Rincon and Jose Shiera-Bastidas, the owner of an oil-field supply company. According to admissions made by Rincon, he worked with Shiera to submit bids for equipment and services to Petroleos.  Beginning in 2009, Rincon and Shiera agreed to pay bribes to Petroleos purchasing analysts to ensure that their companies were placed on Petroleos bidding panels, which enabled the companies to secure lucrative energy contracts.  Rincon also admitted to making bribe payments to other Petroleos officials to ensure that his companies were placed on Petroleos-approved vendor lists and given payment priority over other vendors with outstanding invoices.  Previous FCPA Scorecard coverage on the Petroleos investigations can be found here.