In the recent past, the SFO has remarkably failed to prosecute individuals for their role in an organization`s misconduct (for example, the SFO.B investigation against Guralp led to the prosecution of three employees, all of whom were acquitted; the investigation into individual involvement in Rolls Royce`s misconduct was dropped; and more recently, the SFO failed in its high-profile lawsuits against Barclays executives). It remains to be seen whether current or former Airbus employees in the UK will be charged with the offences that have been the subject of the DPA, but failure to properly investigate individuals will undoubtedly strengthen the FSO`s scrutiny. 12 Excellent work by the Department of Justice (MJ) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). Poor countries that are scammed by their allegedly corrupt officials must receive a fraction of the fines. Bribes and corruption disrupt market forces. Under the CCA, the Company has agreed to cooperate with SFO and its law enforcement partners in future investigations and prosecutions and to disclose any subsequent misconduct by the Company or its employees, subject to applicable laws. If the company does not meet the conditions of the CCA, the lawsuits can be resumed. On January 31, 2020, the SFO announced that it had entered into a CCA with Airbus. Under the terms of the DPA, Airbus agreed to impose a fine and costs of €991 million and a total of €3.6 billion on the UK. € as part of a broader global corruption resolution, which includes agreements with the French authorities (Parquet National Financier (“PNF”)) and in the United States (Department of Justice (“DoJ”) and State Department (“DoS”)). This is the seventh DPA negotiated by the FSO and the largest to date (in terms of fines). The DPA is the result of a long-term investigation conducted in collaboration with the PNF as part of a Joint Investigation Team (“JIT”) working in parallel with the US investigation and US authorities. The scope of the investigation was very large – 30.5 million documents (without duplicates) were collected by more than 200 custodian banks, the cost of the FSO was £6.9 million and Airbus hired five international law firms to carry out the investigation, defence work and related remedies.
Airbus entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Department as part of a criminal investigation filed in the District of Columbia on January 28, 2020, accusing the company of conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provision of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and conspiracy to violate the AECA and its enforcement rules, ITAR. The FCPA indictment stems from Airbus` plan to offer and pay bribes to foreign officials, including Chinese officials, to obtain and retain business, including contracts for the sale of aircraft. AECA fees result from Airbus deliberately failing to disclose political contributions, commissions, or fees to the U.S. government in connection with the sale or export of defense items and defense services to the armed forces of a foreign country or international organization. The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan of the District of Columbia. The dissolution of parallel investigations by French and British authorities and the Foreign Office has affected the sanctions imposed by the DOJ.
For example, Airbus will be subject to the supervision of the French authorities and not to an independent controller under the CCA. In addition, despite the imposition of a total fine of $2.3 billion – $2.1 billion for FCPA violations and $237.7 million for ITAR violations – the DOJ reduced this amount to $527 million ($294.5 million for FCPA fees and $232.7 million for ITAR fees) and an additional $55 million under a civil expiration agreement for ITAR-related conduct. after crediting the amounts paid to France and the United Kingdom […].