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Brazil Petrochemical Manufacturer Braskem S.A. to Pay $957 Million to Settle Anti-bribery Charges

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Linus Unah – Fourth Estate Contributor

Washington, D.C., United States (4E) – Braskem S.A., a Brazilian-based petrochemical manufacturer whose stock trades in the U.S. markets, has agreed to settle charges that it created false books and records to conceal millions of dollars in illicit bribes paid to Brazilian government officials to win or retain business.

Braskem S.A. agreed to pay $957 million as part of a global settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), U.S. Department of Justice, and authorities in Brazil and Switzerland,

The SEC’s complaint alleged that Braskem made about $325 million in profits through bribes paid through intermediaries and off-book accounts managed by a private company that was Braskem’s largest shareholder.

Bribes were paid to a government official at Brazil’s state-controlled petroleum company as well as Brazilian legislators and political party officials, the SEC said.

“As alleged in our complaint, Braskem lacked the internal controls to prevent its use of third parties, off-book accounts, and other intermediaries to bribe government officials in Brazil during an eight-year period,”

Stephanie Avakian , deputy director of the SEC enforcement division, said in a statement.

“Braskem’s misconduct was exposed through the investigative work of authorities in three countries.”

Braskem agreed to disgorge $325 million, including $65 million to the SEC and $260 million to Brazilian authorities.

The company has also agreed to pay more than $632 million in criminal penalties and fines.

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