Petrofac fined over bribery, ex-exec gets suspended sentence

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(Businesshala) – British oil services company PetroFac was fined 77 million pounds ($105 million) on Monday and a former executive sentenced to two years after pleading guilty to bribery in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Received a suspended sentence.

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The fine at Southwark Crown Court in London is less than the $240 million the company said it could face for failing to prevent bribery between 2011 and 2017.

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Its shares jumped up to 17% after announcing their highest level since June 2020.

David Lufkin, the former sales chief of PetroFac, who pleaded guilty to 14 counts of bribing agents worth more than $80 million to effect contracts worth nearly $7.5 billion, was given a two-year suspended sentence.

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Lufkin’s lawyers were not immediately available for comment.

The SFO said Petrofac had acknowledged that senior executives paid £32 million in bribes related to awarding contracts worth approximately £2.6 billion.

“Senior officials of PetroFac Group are engaged in elaborate schemes to corrupt the award of contracts, use agents to systematically bribe officers to win lucrative contracts through unfair and dishonest means,” the SFO said. SFO said.

“A key feature of the case was the complex and deliberately opaque methods by these senior executives to make payments to agents across borders, to hide payments through sub-contractors, to create fake contracts for fraudulent services.”

PetroFac intends to proceed with a refinance prior to sentencing, which may include raising debt or equity.

With a four-year investigation by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) hanging over its previous contracts, PetroFac has struggled to secure major contracts in the Middle East and has seen its shares battered.

“All the employees involved in the allegations have left the business. This concludes the Serious Fraud Office investigation into the company. In determining the fine, the Court and the Serious Fraud Office upheld Petrofac’s corporate reform,” the company said.

The case is the second corporate guilty plea received by the SFO in nearly five months.

Former Airbus subsidiary GPT Special Project Management pleaded guilty in April to corruption in military contracts for Saudi Arabia.

($1 = 0.7363 pounds)

Reporting by Shadia Nasrallah; Additional reporting by Yadarisa Shabong and Kirsten Ridley; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Mark Potter


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