A former oil trader for a subsidiary of multinational commodity trading and mining company Glencore entered a guilty plea Monday for his role in bribing government officials in Nigeria in exchange for the award of oil cargoes and more favorable delivery terms.
Anthony Stimler, a U.K. citizen and resident, pleaded guilty to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to court documents filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Stimler worked on the West Africa desk as a trader for subsidiary Glencore Plc from approximately 2002 until 2009 and then again from approximately June 2011 until August 2019, according to court documents. In that role, Stimler had responsibility for crude oil purchases from Nigeria, among other places.
Between 2007 and 2018, Stimler and seven co-conspirators, who were not identified by name, paid “millions of U.S. dollars in bribes through intermediaries to foreign officials in multiple countries, including Nigeria,” on behalf of Glencore and two of its subsidiaries in violation of the FCPA, court documents state. They did so by “using and paying inflated and fraudulent invoices” to Glencore and its subsidiaries by intermediaries “to disguise the nature and purpose of bribe payments made to government officials.”
The bribery payments were made to Nigerian officials to obtain oil cargoes from the state-owned and -controlled Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the documents state. The only Nigerian foreign official mentioned in the case was identified as “a high-ranking Nigerian government official from in or around 2010 until in or around 2015.”
In furtherance of the bribery scheme, Stimler and his co-conspirators “conspired to transmit the bribe payments from Switzerland to and through the United States, and from the United States to foreign countries,” the court found.
“The conduct described in the plea is unacceptable and has no place in Glencore,” the company said in a statement. Glencore is under investigation by the Department of Justice concerning potential violations of the FCPA and U.S. anti-money laundering statutes; it also faces investigations by authorities in the United Kingdom and Switzerland.
Glencore said it has “cooperated fully” with the Department of Justice and other authorities in their investigations and “continues to do so.” It added it “has taken a number of remedial measures in light of what it has learned during the investigation” and has “significantly enhanced its ethics and compliance program over the last few years.”