SEC Charges Honeywell with Bribery Schemes in Algeria and Brazil
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against Honeywell International Inc. for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) arising out of bribery schemes that took place in Brazil and Algeria. The company has agreed to pay more than $81 million to settle the SEC’s charges.
The SEC’s order finds that Honeywell, a U.S.-based global manufacturer of aerospace, building technologies, and automation products, engaged in a bribery scheme involving intermediaries and employees of its U.S. subsidiary to obtain business from the Brazil state-owned entity Petrobras. Specifically, the order finds that, in 2010, Honeywell offered at least $4 million in bribes to a high-ranking Brazilian government official in connection with the bidding process at Petrobras. The SEC’s order also finds that, in 2011, employees and agents of Honeywell’s Belgian subsidiary paid more than $75,000 in bribes to an Algerian government official to obtain and retain business with the Algerian state-owned entity Sonatrach.
"For years, Honeywell neglected to implement sufficient internal accounting controls to mitigate against known corruption risks in countries like Brazil and Algeria," said Charles Cain, Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s FCPA Unit. "This failure created an environment in which Honeywell employees and agents could and did facilitate bribes."
Honeywell consented to the SEC’s order that it violated the anti-bribery, books and records, and internal accounting controls provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The SEC’s order provides for an offset of up to approximately $38.7 million of any payments made to Brazilian authorities. Therefore, the company’s minimum payment to the SEC would be approximately $42.4 million.
In a parallel case, Honeywell also entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and agreed to pay more than $78 million to settle criminal charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice. Honeywell also agreed to settle additional charges brought by the Brazilian government.
The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Catherine W. Brilliant and Maria F. Boodoo of the FCPA Unit and was supervised by Ansu N. Banerjee. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, the FBI, and the Controladoria-Geral Da União/Advocacia-Geral da União and the Ministério Público Federal in Brazil.