$30M SQM Settlement Demonstrates the Hazards of Discretionary Accounts for CEOs and Charitable Donations to the Politically Connected

Chemical and mining company Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM) has agreed to pay more than $30 million in civil and criminal penalties to settle allegations that it made inappropriate payments to politicians and people closely connected to them in violation of the FCPA. Much of the company’s FCPA problems stemmed from the mishandling of a discretionary fund provided for the use of the CEO, through which some $14.75 million was funneled to politicians and their associates, often via charitable foundations. See “Room for Improvement: Miller & Chevalier Survey Reveals Troubling Perceptions of Corruption and Compliance in Latin America” (Sep. 14, 2016).

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