Odebrecht S.A. (Odebrecht), a global construction conglomerate based in Brazil, and Braskem S.A. (Braskem), a Brazilian petrochemical company, pleaded guilty today and agreed to pay a combined total penalty of at least $3.5 billion to resolve charges with authorities in the United States, Brazil and Switzerland arising out of their schemes to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to government officials around the world.
Under the plea agreement, the United States will credit the amount that Odebrecht pays to Brazil and Switzerland over the full term of their respective agreements, with the United States and Switzerland receiving 10 percent each of the principal of the total criminal fine and Brazil receiving the remaining 80 percent. The fine is subject to an inability to pay analysis to be completed by the Department of Justice and Brazilian authorities on or before March 31, 2017, because Odebrecht has represented it is only able to pay approximately $2.6 billion over the course of the respective agreements. Sentencing has been scheduled for April 17, 2017.
Braskem, whose American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) are publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, separately pleaded guilty to a one-count criminal information filed in the Eastern District of New York charging it with conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA. Braskem agreed to pay a total criminal penalty of $632 million. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled. In related proceedings, Braskem also settled with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Ministerio Publico Federal in Brazil and the Office of the Attorney General in Switzerland. Under the terms of its resolution with the SEC, Braskem agreed to a total of $325 million in disgorgement of profits. Braskem agreed to pay Brazilian authorities 70 percent of the total criminal penalty and agreed to pay the Swiss authorities 15 percent. The department has agreed to credit the criminal penalties paid to Brazilian and Swiss authorities as part of its agreement with the company. The United States will receive $94.8 million, an amount equal to 15 percent of the total criminal fines paid by Braskem.
Under their respective plea agreements, Odebrecht and Braskem are required to continue their cooperation with law enforcement, including in connection with the investigations and prosecutions of individuals responsible for the criminal conduct. Odebrecht and Braskem also agreed to adopt enhanced compliance procedures and to retain independent compliance monitors for three years. The cases are assigned to U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Dearie of the Eastern District of New York.
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