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U.S. v. Mercator Corporation

 
:
Mercator Corporation
:
DOJ Criminal
:
August 6, 2010
:
U.S. v. Mercator Corporation
:
U.S. v. Mercator Corp., S3 03 Cr. 404 (S.D.N.Y. 2010).
:
Kazakhstan
:
1995; 1996; 1997; 1998; 1999; 2000
:
Senior officials of the Kazakh Government
:
The Mercator Corporation is headquartered and incorporated in New York.  On August 6, 2010, the DOJ charged Mercator with violating the anti-bribery provisin of the FCPA.  According to the DOJ, Mercator entered into an agreement with the Kazakh Ministry of Oil and Gas Industries to assist the Ministry in developing a strategy for foreign investment in the oil and gas sector and coordinating the negotiation of numerous oil and gas transactions with foreign partners.  Under the agreement, Mercator stood to receive “success fees” that would be paid only if the transactions successfully closed.   Between 1995 and 2000, Kazakhstan paid Mercator approximately $67 million in success fees for its work.  Out of the success fees, James Giffen, on behalf of Mercator, directly and through intermediaries made unlawful payments to three senior officials of the Kazakh Government.  The information broadly alleges that luxury gifts were given and specifically notes two snowmobiles.  The unlawful payments ensured Mercator and Giffen obtained and retained business with Kazakhstan, and they remained in a position from which they could divert funds from oil transactions into accounts for the benefit of senior Kazakh officials and Giffen personally.  Since senior Kazakh officials had the authority to hire Mercator and to pay Mercator substantial success fees if the transactions closed, Mercator was dependent upon the goodwill of these officials to maintain its position as a consultant to the Kazakh government.  The scheme defrauded the Kazakh government of funds to which it was entiteld from oil transactions.  The Mercator Corporation pleaded guilty.
:
Anti-bribery (Domestic Concern), Conspiracy - Anti-Bribery
:
Plea
:
Not stated.
:
0
:
Domestic Concern
:
U.S.
:
Legislation
:
67,000,000
:
Gifts, Wire/check
:
Direct, Shell entity
:
Not stated.
:
Switzerland
:
Switzerland
:

:
No
:
Switzerland