Dec. 19, 2022 —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.
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Mark Astarita is a nationally recognized securities attorney, who represents investors, financial professionals and firms in securities litigation, arbitration and regulatory matters, including SEC and FINRA investigations and enforcement proceedings.
He is a partner in the national securities law firm Sallah Astarita & Cox, LLC, and the founder of The Securities Law Home Page - SECLaw.com, which was one of the first legal topic sites on the Internet. It went online in 1995 and is updated daily with news, commentary and securities law related links.