July 21, 2020

UK High Court approves seizure of $6.3 million property owned by Brazilian businessman

On July 16, 2020, the UK’s High Court of Justice approved the seizure of a London property valued at over $6.3 million (£5 million), belonging to Brazilian businessman, Julio Faerman, for his alleged role in the Petrobras bribery scandal in Brazil. 

In 2016, Faerman admitted his participation in the Petrobras bribery scheme, and agreed to pay $54 million as part a settlement reached with Brazilian authorities.  According to the judgment, the Serious Fraud Office commenced a civil recovery investigation into Faerman in 2015 after Brazilian authorities sought the SFO’s assistance to identify and recover Faerman’s UK-based assets before the settlement.  Based on findings from that investigation, the SFO was able to determine that at least part of the funds used to purchase the property at issue, were linked to Swiss bank accounts that Faerman used for illicit activity while he worked as an agent for SBM Offshore N.V., a Dutch company connected with Petrobras, in Brazil.  The SFO was able to trace the proceeds of these Swiss bank accounts to the purchase of the seized property. 

Faerman’s former employer SBM, reached a settlement in 2018 with Brazilian prosecutors for its role in the Petrobras scandal, that required the company to pay approximately $49 million to Petrobras.  In 2014, SBM reached a settlement with the Dutch authorities for its bribes in Brazil, and in 2017 the company entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the US Department of Justice for its role in FCPA violations in Brazil.  Altogether, SBM has paid over $475 million to resolve the bribery schemes with which it has been charged.

High Court Judgment