Bilfinger, a German engineering and construction services firm, is the first international company to seek leniency under Brazil’s recently implemented antibribery law known as the Clean Companies Act (CCA), which went into effect in January 2014. The company disclosed to Brazil’s Comptroller General that it may have paid €1 million in bribes to Brazilian officials in connection with a €6 million contract to equip security centers at various venues for the 2014 World Cup. In March 2015, Bilfinger announced that it was conducting an internal investigation into the allegations.
Under the CCA, Brazil’s comptroller general may enter into leniency agreements with subjects who self-report violations. Criminal penalties under the CCA include debarment, suspension and dissolution. Civil fines can range from one percent to 20 percent of a company’s gross revenue in the year prior to the government’s investigation. Companies that voluntarily disclose violations under the CCA’s leniency provisions may have fines reduced by up to two-thirds. Five other companies are also reportedly seeking leniency under the new law.
In 2013, Bilfinger paid $32 million and entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to settle FCPA charges related to a different bribery scheme in Nigeria. To learn more about the presidential decree implementing the CCA, see our AG Deal Diary post.
For more information, see the coverage in Reuters.