September 23, 2019

SEC settles FCPA charges with Texas-based oil field services company

On September 23, 2019, the US Securities and Exchange Commission announced a settlement of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) charges with Technip FMC Technologies plc (TechnipFMC), a Texas-based oil field services company.  According to the SEC’s administrative order, from 2008 through 2013, TechnipFMC predecessor company FMC Technologies (FMC)—which merged with Technip in January 2017 to form TechnipFMC—conspired with a Monaco-based intermediary (which TechnipFMC has previously identified as Unaoil) to bribe Iraqi government officials in the Ministry of Oil, the South Oil Company, and the Missan Oil Company, in order to secure business for FMC in Iraq.  As a result of this conduct, the SEC charged that TechnipFMC had failed to devise and maintain adequate internal controls, and had failed to make and keep accurate books and records. 

TechnipFMC did not self-disclose the conduct, but did provide substantial cooperation and remediation.  Thus, in determining the appropriate resolution, the SEC took into account that the Company provided the SEC with the results of its internal investigation, separated from employees who were responsible for the misconduct, implemented third party controls and enhanced due diligence processes, and improved its compliance program.  

Pursuant to the SEC order, TechnipFMC is required to continue cooperating with the SEC’s investigation, to report to the SEC periodically during a three year period, to disclose any information discovered about additional violations, and to pay $5,061,906 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest.  In light of the $296 million payment TechnipFMC made to the US Department of Justice as a component of its June 2019 deferred prosecution agreement, the SEC declined to impose a civil penalty on the Company.  In June 2019 TechnipFMC also announced that it had reached an agreement with Brazilian authorities to resolve related corruption allegations, and that it remained in discussion with the French Parquet National Financier (PNF) related to historical projects in Equatorial Guinea and Ghana, and had taken a $70 million provision related to the PNF investigation.  TechnipFMC has not announced any subsequent developments with the PNF.

In 2010, to resolve FCPA charges for unrelated conduct, Technip entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ in which it agreed to pay a $240 million penalty, and a civil resolution with the SEC in which it agreed to pay $98 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest.

June 2019 press release |