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FCPA Blog Daily News

« DOJ charges Venezuela energy company workers with money laundering, FCPA conspiracy | Main | Juniper Networks lands DOJ declination »
Monday
Feb122018

Feds end FCPA investigation of Core Labs in Unaoil scandal

Amsterdam-based Core Laboratories N.V. said in a U.S. securities filing Monday that the DOJ and SEC have both closed investigations into the company's dealings with Unaoil and won't bring any enforcement action.

Core Labs said it learned of the SEC declination last week.

In October last year, Core Labs said the DOJ had "closed its inquiry without taking any action."

The double declinations from the DOJ and SEC mean the U.S. investigation is now over.

Part of Monday's FCPA disclosure said:

In a letter dated February 5, 2018, the Company was informed by the SEC, that they have concluded their investigation as to the Company's connection with Unaoil and they do not intend to recommend an enforcement action by the Commission against the Company.

Core Labs provides geologic services to the oil and gas industries.

A report in March 2016 by the Huffington Post and Fairfax Media alleged that Monaco-based Unaoil paid bribes on behalf of about a dozen companies in the oil and gas sector, inlcuding Core Labs.

Police in Monaco raided Unaoil's offices after the Huffington Post/Fairfax Media report appeared.

Unaoil has denied the bribery allegations.

HuffPo and Fairfax Media said their report was based on leaked Unaoil emails and memos.

The SFO started investigating Unaoil for corruption in 2016.

In November last year, the SFO charged two men in the Unaoil case.

Ziad Akle and Basil Al Jarah were both accused of conspiracy to pay bribes to help Unaoil’s client SBM Offshore NV to win contracts in Iraq. Akle was Unaoil’s territory manager for Iraq and Al Jarah was Unaoil’s "Iraq partner," the SFO said.

In November last year, SBM paid a criminal penalty of $238 million to resolve FCPA offenses in Iraq and several other countries.

*    *    *

The full FCPA disclosure from Core Laboratories N.V.'s Form 10-K filed with the SEC on February 12, 2018 said:

In a letter dated October 4, 2017, the Company was informed by the U.S. Department of Justice, that in regard to the investigation by the Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section (the “Department”) into the Company concerning possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act related to the Company’s interactions with Unaoil (which we first disclosed in our Q2 2016 quarterly report on Form 10-Q), the Department has closed its inquiry without taking any action against the Company. Specifically, the Department stated that “based upon the information known to the Department at this time, it has closed its inquiry into the Company in connection with this matter. The Department appreciates the Company’s cooperation during the investigation.”

In a letter dated February 5, 2018, the Company was informed by the SEC, that they have concluded their investigation as to the Company's connection with Unaoil and they do not intend to recommend an enforcement action by the Commission against the Company.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.