Foreign Corrupt Practices Act case dropped

scalesThe Department of Justice announced that charges against Statoil ASA have been dropped.

After three years of satisfying obligations under a deferred prosecution agreement, the charges against Statoil ASA for violating the anti-bribery and accounting provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) have been dismissed with prejudice. Statoil is an international oil company headquartered in Norway and listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

“Three years of diligent efforts by Statoil to address past misconduct and serious compliance failures have led to the dismissal of foreign bribery charges against the company,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer. “Bribing foreign government officials and then attempting to disguise the payments cannot be standard operating procedure. Companies that have robust compliance programs risk far less than companies that take their chances on possible FCPA violations.”

“This case shows that deferred prosecution agreements against corporations can work as an important middle ground between declining prosecution and obtaining the conviction of a corporation,” said U.S. Attorney Prett Bharara. “The deferred prosecution in this case helped restore the integrity of Statoil’s operations and preserve its financial viability while at the same time ensuring that it improved what was obviously a failed compliance and anti-corruption program.”

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