Albemarle Charged By SEC, DOJ For Using Bribes In Vietnam, India, Indonesia

The Securities and Exchange Commission has reached a resolution with Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB). In a landmark settlement, the corporation will pay over $103.6 million to settle charges that Albemarle infringed upon the anti-bribery, recordkeeping, and internal accounting controls stipulations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

A detailed investigation by the SEC identified that the violations occurred between 2009 and 2017. The SEC stated that the bribes were strategically used to secure sales of refinery catalysts to public-sector oil refineries situated in Vietnam, India, and Indonesia. Additionally, the same illicit practices were executed with private-sector oil refineries in India.

Furthermore, the corporation fell afoul of the FCPA’s recordkeeping protocols. It also showed negligence in establishing a robust internal accounting system. This negligence was evident in their inadequate oversight of payments made to agents in regions including Vietnam, Indonesia, India, China, and the United Arab Emirates.

Charles Cain, who leads the SEC Enforcement Division’s FCPA Unit, commented on the situation, stating that Albemarle had been repeatedly exposed to red flags concerning bribery. Yet, for a prolonged period, the company did not fortify its internal accounting controls, especially concerning sales to state-owned clients across the globe.

Following the investigation, Albemarle has accepted the SEC’s Order, acknowledging its violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934’s specific provisions. As part of the settlement, Albemarle has agreed to cease and desist from committing or causing any future violations. The settlement amount consists of a disgorgement of over $81.8 million, along with prejudgment interest surpassing $21.7 million.

In a concurrent move, the U.S. Department of Justice revealed it has entered a non-prosecution agreement with Albemarle. This mandates the chemical giant to pay a criminal fine of $99 million and forfeit around $98 million. $81.8 million of this forfeiture will be addressed by the company’s disgorgement payment, as per the SEC Order.

Information for this briefing was found via the SEC. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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