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Glencore sentenced to pay $700 million in US after bribery guilty plea



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of commodities trader Glencore is pictured in front of the company’s headquarters in Baar, Switzerland, September 30, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

By Luc Cohen

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Tuesday ordered Glencore (OTC:) Plc to pay $700 million in connection with its guilty plea over a decade-long scheme to bribe foreign officials across several countries.

The sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield in Manhattan federal court consisted of a $428.5 million fine and $272 million in forfeiture, in line with a plea deal reached last May between the mining and commodity trading giant and federal prosecutors in Manhattan.

Prosecutors have said Glencore paid more than $100 million in bribes to officials in countries including Nigeria, Brazil, Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to win business or avoid audits. 

    The fine is 15% below what U.S. sentencing guidelines recommend and reflects credit for Glencore’s cooperation, including by providing documents that were located abroad and investing “significant resources” in improving ethics and compliance, prosecutors said.

    Overall, the Swiss-based multinational has said it expects to pay more than $1.5 billion to settle bribery and market manipulation accusations, including more than $1 billion in the United States. 

    Last year, Glencore was ordered to pay $341 million in fines and $144 million in forfeiture after pleading guilty to a market manipulation charge in Connecticut federal court.

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