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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Gabonese National Pleads Guilty to Bribing Government Officials in Africa in Connection with Global Management Firm Mining Operations

Federal Issues FCPA International SEC DOJ Bribery

Federal Issues

On December 9, 2016, the son of a former Prime Minister of Gabon pleaded guilty to conspiring to make corrupt payments to government officials in Africa in violation of the FCPA. The Gabonese national worked as a consultant for a joint venture between the company and an entity incorporated in the Turks and Caicos. The DOJ charged him with conspiring to pay approximately $3 million in bribes to high-level government officials in Niger, as well as providing them with luxury cars, in order to obtain uranium mining concessions. Similarly, the DOJ also charged him with bribing a high-ranking government official in Chad with luxury foreign travel for the official and his wife in order to obtain a uranium mining concession there. In addition, the DOJ charged him with bribing government officials in Guinea with cash, the use of private jets, and a luxury car in order to obtain confidential government information.

The guilty plea comes on the heels of the company’s $412 million settlement with the DOJ and SEC to resolve related criminal and civil charges of violating the FCPA in connection with the bribery of high-level government officials across Africa. The settlement represented the fourth largest FCPA financial penalty at the time. The company’s CEO and former CFO have also previously settled related civil allegations. Prior Scorecard coverage of the company’s settlement with the DOJ and SEC may be found here.

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