Glencore ordered to pay R13 billion for bribery

A federal judge in New York ordered Glencore to pay $700 million (R12.8 billion) as a criminal punishment for a global bribery scheme orchestrated by the Swiss-based commodities trading and mining giant.

On Tuesday, US District Judge Lorna G. Schofield imposed the sentence under terms of a plea deal with prosecutors, which was preceded by Glencore pleading guilty in May to a single count of conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The company must pay a fine of $428.5 million and $272.2 million in criminal forfeiture.

The penalty is part of the $1.5 billion Glencore agreed to pay to resolve bribery and market-manipulation probes in the US, UK and Brazil.

Glencore units agreed to plead guilty to a list of charges ranging from bribery and corruption in South America and Africa to price manipulation in US fuel-oil markets.

Prosecutors claimed Glencore paid more than $100 million in bribes to government officials in Brazil, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Venezuela. They said Glencore made $315 million from the scheme.

On Monday, Schofield ruled Glencore must pay $29.6 million to the founders of a company that provided healthcare services in 11 African countries but was forced to shut down.

Crusader Health claimed it was driven out of business after Glencore bribed a public official in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to throw out a lawsuit brought by Crusader against a Glencore subsidiary.

In September, the commodity firm was sentenced in Connecticut to pay $486 million in fines and forfeitures in a case in which Glencore admitted to conspiring to manipulate oil price benchmarks.

In November, a London judge imposed a £276 million ($333 million) penalty for Glencore’s effort to bribe government officials for access to oil cargoes across Africa.