Glencore to pay $1.1 billion to settle corruption and price-fixing charges

WASHINGTON — Glencore, the mining and commodities trading giant, has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle charges that two of its units ...


WASHINGTON — Glencore, the mining and commodities trading giant, has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle charges that two of its units bribed officials in several countries and manipulated oil prices.

The settlement, announced by Attorney General Merrick B. Garland on Tuesday, follows months of negotiations between the company and prosecutors in the United States, Britain and Brazil over Glencore’s operations in the United States, in Democratic Republic of Congo, Venezuela and Nigeria since 2018. .

The announcement comes as gas prices have soared, largely due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the Biden administration, concerned about how high prices could affect Democrats. during the midterm elections in November, struggled to find effective ways to relieve Americans at the pumps.

“The rule of law requires that there is not one rule for the powerful and another for the powerless, one rule for the rich and another for the poor,” said Mr. Garland, flanked by federal prosecutors and regulators in New York and Connecticut. journalists during a press conference at the ministry’s headquarters.

The settlement was no surprise. In February, the company set aside $1.5 billion in reserves to pay fines and recoveries that may result from international investigations into its operations in a handful of resource-rich countries in Africa and South America.

As part of the settlement, two Glencore units admitted guilt and the company agreed to pay two separate fines – $700 million to resolve the corruption investigation and $485 million as part of a “plan multi-year plan aimed at manipulating benchmarks used to set oil prices at two of the busiest ports in our nation,” said Kenneth A. Polite Jr., who heads the department’s criminal division.

Two mid-level traders pleaded guilty, one for having conspired to manipulate a fuel oil benchmark, the other to bribe Nigerian officials for a favorable contract with a public oil conglomerate.

The company has yet to resolve the investigations in Switzerland, where it is based, and the Netherlands, but executives said in a report posted on the company’s website that they thought they wouldn’t need to earmark any money on top of the $1.5 billion already set aside.

Gary Nagle, Glencore’s chief executive, has sought to distance the company’s current management from the activities of executives four years ago, listing a set of internal controls put in place to help ensure the company complies with law and accepted industry practices.

“We acknowledge the misconduct identified in these investigations and have cooperated with authorities,” he wrote in his statement. “This type of behavior has no place at Glencore, and the board, management team and I are very clear about the culture we want and our commitment to being a responsible and ethical operator. wherever we work.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Glencore to pay $1.1 billion to settle corruption and price-fixing charges
Glencore to pay $1.1 billion to settle corruption and price-fixing charges
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