sargeant marine plea agreement

 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. 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. 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. Pleads Guilty and Agrees to Pay $16.6 Million to Resolve Charges Related to Foreign Bribery Schemes in Brazil, Venezuela, and Ecuador. For approximately 15 years, the DOJ has been encouraging business organizations to voluntarily disclose FCPA violations. 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. September 29, 2020. The older Sargeant, a prominent Republican donor in Florida, was not named in the indictment or his brother’s plea agreement. Hoskins cites Stone case in push for reduced sentence. The plea agreement by Sargeant Marine Inc. is part of a broader, ongoing crackdown on corrupt dealings in South America’s commodities markets. 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 … According to … Petrobras, of Brazil; Petroleos de Venezuela S.A., a.k.a. 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 … 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.  A sixth individual, Roberto Finocchi, also a Sargeant Marine trader, pleaded guilty in November 2017 for his role in the Brazil scheme.Â. 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. The plea agreement by Sargeant Marine Inc. is part of a broader crackdown on corrupt dealings in South America's commodities markets. A lock (LockA locked padlock) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. In what appears to be a … Similar tactics were used in Venezuela, whose tar-like crude is among the best in the world for making asphalt. No. 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. Vitol acquired a 50 percent stake in Sargeant Marine in 2015 for an undisclosed amount. 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. 7:58 am. The plea agreement by Sargeant Marine Inc. is part of a broader crackdown on corrupt dealings in South America's commodities markets. 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. The plea agreement by Sargeant Marine Inc. is part of a broader, ongoing crackdown on corrupt dealings in South America's commodities markets. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites. The Fraud Section is responsible for investigating and prosecuting all FCPA matters.  Additional information about the Justice Department’s FCPA enforcement efforts can be found at www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/fcpa. The Criminal FCPA Plea by Sargeant Marine. 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. Some of the bribes were paid before he was ousted from the family business. An official website of the United States government. Jose Tomas Meneses worked as a trader at Sargeant Marine between 2012 and 2018. 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. Brazil inaugurates its first cemetery memorial to coronavirus victims, while the pandemic is still claiming lives. Ecuador faces worst unemployment crisis in Latin America, Venezuela nurses struggle to survive as inflation, virus rage, Brazil’s Infinity Memorial commemorates COVID-19 victims, UAE a hub for firms helping Venezuela avoid US sanctions: Report, Wall Street tempers bonus expectations in the times of COVID-19, EU governments approve Brexit trade deal: Germany, Wealthy US hospitals tap into COVID relief funds to cover costs, Strong earthquake kills at least seven people in Croatia, UK registers record 53,135 new COVID cases in 24 hours, Nashville bomber gave away car, home before Christmas Day attack, Russia’s ultimatum to Navalny: Return immediately or face jail, Al Jazeera Centre for Public Liberties & Human Rights. The plea agreement by Sargeant Marine Inc. is part of a broader crackdown on corrupt dealings in South America’s commodities markets. He is awaiting sentencing after paying $300,000 in cash bail. The prosecutors first decided to give the company a … 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. Sargeant Marine Inc. “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 Marine Inc. attempted to get ahead of competitors by paying bribes to foreign officials in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  As today's guilty pleas demonstrate, the FBI will relentlessly investigate those attempting to cheat the market, and we will bring them to justice.”. September 29, 2020. Sargeant Marine pays $16 million over sprawling Latin America bribery scheme. Under U.S. sentencing guidelines, Sargeant Marine could have paid between $120 million and $240 million, according to the plea agreement. PLEA AGREEMENT Cr. Secure .gov websites use HTTPS 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 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. To read more Subscribe to Global Investigations Review. 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. Harry Cassin. Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement, Criminal - Office of International Affairs. The plea agreement by Sargeant Marine Inc. is part of a broader crackdown on corrupt dealings in South America's commodities markets. A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States. At a special court-martial at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, a military judge convicted Sergeant J. D. Marchio, pursuant to the accused’s pleas, of damaging non-military property and assault consummated by a battery on a spouse. The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years. 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. Sargeant Marine, an asphalt company, plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of …  The bribe intermediaries used a portion of the commissions to pay bribes to Brazilian government officials on Sargeant Marine’s behalf, either by wire to the officials’ offshore shell companies, or in cash in Brazil. 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. False consulting contracts and fake invoices were used to pay intermediaries who negotiated the bribes in the three countries, according to the plea agreement. “We will see everyone in court,” he said in a statement. Sargeant Marine was “one of the largest asphalt providers in the world”, according to the indictment. 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 … The plea agreement by Sargeant Marine Inc. is part of a broader, ongoing crackdown on corrupt dealings in South America’s commodities markets. A US asphalt company has agreed to pay $16.6m in fines for paying bribes to officials. 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. Confidential information that was obtained through the bribery scheme and that gave Sargeant Marine a competitive edge in its dealings with PDVSA after 2015 was called by the code name “chocolates”. 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. Subscribe and start reading now. DOJ could see rise in inability-to-pay claims. Should go again before contract next year gets hot and heavy,” according to the plea agreement. 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. Pleads Guilty and Agrees to Pay Over $16 Million in Criminal Fines to Resolve Foreign Bribery Case.  “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. The Boca Raton, Florida-based company netted more than $38m in profits as a result of the bribes. The plea agreement by Sargeant Marine Inc. is part of a broader crackdown on corrupt dealings in South America’s commodities markets. 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. by Corporate Compliance Insights. US v Sargeant Marine: plea agreement (23 September 2020) More. An attorney representing Sargeant Marine declined to comment. 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. 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. Sargeant pled guilty on the same date but the plea agreement has not been released. The bribes it paid in Brazil alone helped the company and its … Vaccarezza at the time was the leader of the ruling Workers’ Party in the lower house. 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. Why Disclose? Official websites use .gov 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 … Alex Spiro, an attorney for Aguilar, denied the allegations. 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