06 Feb 2020
Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht SA has agreed to extend the monitorship and other terms of its plea agreement with the U.S. Justice Department for almost nine months, according to court filings.
Odebrecht pleaded guilty in 2016 to a criminal charge of allegedly conspiring to violate U.S. foreign bribery laws and entered into a plea agreement with the DOJ. The company allegedly paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to public officials in Brazil and abroad to win lucrative infrastructure contracts between 2001 and 2016, according to the plea agreement.
As part of the plea deal, Odebrecht agreed to retain an independent compliance monitor for three years and adopt and implement a compliance and ethics program. The monitorship was originally set to expire on Feb. 20.
In a letter to the Brazilian company’s general counsel last month, U.S. prosecutors said the company had failed to fulfill obligations under the plea agreement. Prosecutors said the company failed to adopt recommendations made by the monitor and failed to implement a compliance and ethics program designed to prevent and detect violations of certain anticorruption laws.
The company now has until Nov. 16 to fulfill obligations under the extended plea agreement, prosecutors said.
Odebrecht said in a statement that the temporary suspension and extension of the monitorship was “due to financial issues with the monitors” as a result of the company’s reorganization. Odebrecht filed for bankruptcy in Brazil in June and filed for chapter 15 bankruptcy in New York in August.
By Mengqi Sun, The Wall Street Journal, 4 February 2020
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