Three former senior employees of the F.H Bertling Group were today sentenced at Southwark Crown Court, the U.K. Serious Fraud Office announced.
The sentencings follow an SFO investigation into corrupt payments made to an agent of the Angolan state oil company, Sonangol, in relation to F.H Bertling’s freight-forwarding business in Angola and a contract worth approximately $20 million.
Joerg Blumberg, Dirk Juergensen, and Marc Schweiger were sentenced, fined, and disqualified as company directors following their convictions for conspiracy to make corrupt payments earlier this year. Schweiger was the manager responsible for the Africa market when the corrupt activity took place between July 2005 and December 2006. Blumberg worked as group CFO, while Juergensen was the managing director of the U.K. subsidiary F.H. Bertling.
Each were each given a 20-month sentence, suspended for two years, a £20,000 fine, payable within three months with a default sentence of one year for non-payment and were disqualified from being company directors for five years.
The company and former employees were convicted of conspiracy to make corrupt payments, contrary to Section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and Section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906. Giuseppe Morreale and Stephen Emler pleaded guilty to the charges on 1 September 2016. They will be sentenced following the conclusion of connected proceedings, for which a trial is scheduled in September 2018.
F.H. Bertling Limited, which is a U.K. subsidiary of the German-headquartered Bertling Group, pleaded guilty on 1 August 2017. It will be sentenced following the conclusion of related proceedings, for which a trial is scheduled in September 2018.
Update: This article has been updated to reflect revised information in the SFO's own release on this case.