On October 28, 2021, the UK Serious Fraud Office provided an update in its corruption and bribery investigation related to Amec Foster Wheeler Energy Limited (AFWEL), informing individuals under investigation that it will not pursue prosecution against them. This decision comes just a few months after the SFO announced that it had entered a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) on July 1, 2021 with AFWEL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based engineering company John Wood Group plc, for its role in a scheme to bribe officials in multiple jurisdictions in exchange for lucrative oil and gas contracts.
The DPA was part of a $177 million global settlement reached with authorities in UK, US and Brazil. Under the terms of the DPA, AFWEL paid a £103 million financial penalty in the UK that included SFO’s costs of £3.4 million and £210,610 in compensation to the people of Nigeria, after AFWEL admitted as part of the DPA that it participated in ten separate acts of corruption with corrupt agents around the world, including Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, India and Brazil between 1996 and 2014.
In June 2021, AFWEL entered into a three-year DPA with the US Department of Justice to resolve charges that it conspired to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for its role in a scheme to bribe officials in Brazil in order to obtain a $190 million contract to design a gas-to-chemical complex. AFWEL also settled with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve civil charges related to violations the anti-bribery, books and records, and internal accounting control provisions of the FCPA. In addition to the monetary penalties, AFWEL agreed to enhance its compliance program and cooperate with ongoing DOJ investigations.