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Thursday
Feb202014

DOJ Declination for LyondellBasell

LyondellBasell Industries NV, the Netherlands-based petrochemical maker, said Thursday in an SEC filing that the Justice Department has closed its investigation into a payment made in Kazakhstan that had raised compliance concerns.

The company had disclosed the investigation in late 2012 but hadn't provided further details.

It said Thursday the DOJ ended its investigation without assessing any fine or penalty.

A Bloomberg report from 2010 said a payment of $7 million made two years earlier to 'an individual affiliated with a Kazakh company, SAT & Co.' was at the center of the DOJ's investigation.

Bloomberg said, "SAT & Co. is 50.46 percent owned by Kenes Rakishev according to the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange Web site. Rakishev is the son-in-law of Imangali Tasmagambetov, the mayor of the Kazakh capital Astana and the nation’s former prime minister."

LyondellBasell is based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and trades on the NYSE under the symbol LYB.

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In its Form 10-K filed with the SEC on February 20, LyondellBasell Industries N.V. said:

We previously reported that we had identified, and voluntarily disclosed to the U.S. Department of Justice, an agreement related to a former project in Kazakhstan under which a payment was made that raised compliance concerns under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the “FCPA”). In January 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice advised the Company that it had closed its investigation into this matter. No fine or penalty was assessed.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.