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SEC Charges ENI, S.p.A and Snamprogetti with Foreign Corrupt Practices for Bribery Scheme

The SEC has charged an Italian company ENI, S.p.A. and a Dutch subsidiary Snamprogetti Netherlands B.V. with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in a bribery scheme tied to Nigerian government officials for the purpose of winning construction contracts.

Snamprogetti and ENI will jointly pay $125 million to settle the SEC’s charges, and Snamprogetti will pay an additional $240 million penalty to settle separate criminal proceedings announced today by the Department of Justice.

ENI and Snamprogetti are the latest to be charged in the decade-long Nigerian bribery scheme conducted by a joint venture of companies that included both named in previous SEC enforcement actions. The $365 million to be paid by ENI and Snamprogetti brings the total sanctions against all the companies involved in the scheme to more than $1.28 billion.

This elaborate bribery scheme featured sham intermediaries, Swiss bank accounts, and carloads of cash as everyone involved made a concerted effort to cover their tracks.

In the related criminal proceeding announced today, the Department of Justice filed a criminal action against Snamprogetti, charging one count of conspiring to violate the FCPA and one count of aiding and abetting violations of the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA. Snamprogetti has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ and agreed to pay a criminal penalty of $240 million.

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