More Petrobras Fallout: Sargeant Marine Pleads Guilty

In one of the latest developments stemming from the Petrobras scandal, Florida-based asphalt company Sargeant Marine, Inc., entered a rare guilty plea to conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA and will pay a $16.6‑million fine. The company acknowledged paying bribes to foreign officials in the trifecta of Brazil, Ecuador and Venezuela between 2010 and 2018. While the DOJ “has shown leniency – and even disinterest – in prosecuting actions in many instances, it has shown a laser focus in China, Venezuela, Ecuador and Brazil,” said Jose Martin, of counsel at Squire Patton Boggs. “Companies and individuals doing business with the DOJ’s target Latin American oil companies should consider whether it is worth doing business there,” he cautioned. See our three-part series on takeaways from the Petrobras settlement: “Deal With SEC and DOJ to Resolve Allegations of Systemic Bribery” (Oct. 17, 2018); “State-Owned Entity, Victim and Perpetrator” (Oct. 31, 2018); “Lessons on Preventing Top-Down Corruption” (Nov. 14, 2018).

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