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Albemarle to pay SEC more than $103 million to settle FCPA violations

Christian Fernsby |
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that Charlotte based Albemarle, a specialty chemicals company, agreed to pay more than $103.6 million to settle the SEC’s charges that it violated the anti-bribery, recordkeeping, and internal accounting controls provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

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According to the SEC’s Order, despite significant red flags, Albemarle used agents from at least 2009 through 2017 that paid bribes to obtain sales of refinery catalysts to public-sector oil refineries in Vietnam, India, and Indonesia and to private-sector oil refineries in India.

In addition, the Order finds that Albemarle violated the FCPA’s recordkeeping requirements and failed to devise and maintain a sufficient system of internal accounting controls to provide reasonable assurances that payments made to agents in Vietnam, Indonesia, India, China, and the United Arab Emirates were for legitimate services.

Albemarle consented to the SEC’s Order finding that it violated the anti-bribery, recordkeeping, and internal accounting controls provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Albemarle has agreed to cease and desist from committing or causing any future violations of these provisions and to pay disgorgement of more than $81.8 million plus prejudgment interest of more than $21.7 million, totaling more than $103.6 million.

In a parallel action, the U.S. Department of Justice has entered into a non-prosecution agreement in which Albemarle agreed to pay a $99 million criminal fine and to a forfeiture of approximately $98 million, of which $81.8 million will be satisfied by the company’s payment of disgorgement pursuant to the SEC Order.


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