U.S. fines Total $398 million over bribes in Iran

French oil giant Total was fined $398.2 million on May 29, 2013 to resolve charges it bribed officials in Iran to secure oil and gas concessions, U.S. authorities announced. (AFP)

French oil giant Total has been fined $398.2 million to resolve charges it bribed officials in Iran to secure oil and gas concessions, U.S. authorities announced Wednesday.

Total was fined $245.2 million by the Department of Justice for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), while the Securities and Exchange Commission penalized it another $153 million in disgorgement and interest in the case.

The charges stemmed from some $60 million in bribes that Total intermediaries paid Iranian officials between 1995 and 2004 to obtain the rights to develop several oil and gas fields, the Justice Department said.

U.S. authorities worked together with French officials in the lengthy probe, and in tandem Wednesday French authorities recommended that Total, the company’s chairman and chief executive be prosecuted for violating French bribery laws, the department said.

Total agreed to pay the fines under a deferred prosecution agreement which requires the company over the next three years to retain an independent corporate compliance monitor and to implement controls to prevent violations of the FCPA.

“Today’s deferred prosecution agreement, with both its punitive and forward-looking compliance provisions, dovetails with our goals of bringing violators to justice and preventing future misconduct,” said U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:40 - GMT 06:40
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