Canadian authorities today brought federal corruption and fraud charges against engineering and construction company SNC-Lavalin Group and two of its subsidiaries—SNC-Lavalin International and SNC-Lavalin Construction, the company announced.
SNC-Lavalin said that each entity has been charged by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada with one count of fraud under section 380 of the Criminal Code of Canada and one count of corruption under Section 3(1)(b) of the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act.
The alleged criminal acts surfaced as part of the ongoing criminal investigation into the company’s business dealings in Libya that began three years ago. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canada’s national police force, allege that between 2001 and 2011, SNC-Lavalin and its subsidiaries gave US$38 million to Libyan government officials to use their positions to influence government decisions. The RCMP further allege during this same time period that SNC-Lavalin and its subsidiaries defrauded the Libyan government and other entities of “property, money, or valuable security or service” valued at US$103.7 million.
In response to the charges, SNC-Lavalin said it “firmly considers that the charges are without merit and will vigorously defend itself and plead not guilty in the interest of its current employees, families, partners, clients, investors and other stakeholders.”
“These charges relate to alleged reprehensible deeds by former employees who left the company long ago,” the company added. “If charges are appropriate, we believe that they would be correctly applied against the individuals in question and not the company. The company has and will continue to fully cooperate with authorities to ensure that any individuals who are believed to have committed illegal acts are brought to justice. The company will also consider claims against these individuals to recover any damages the company has suffered as a result.”
SNC-Lavalin added that the charges do not affect the company’s right and ability to bid or work on any public or private projects.