Danny McCance 9 Nov 2017 12:49pm

Former Rolls-Royce executives plead guilty to bribery

Two former Rolls-Royce executives and a former employee have admitted to bribery of foreign government officials

The case in the US centres on bribing government officials, between 2009 and 2013, to direct business towards Rolls-Royce Energy Systems Inc (RRESI) – a US-based Rolls-Royce subsidiary – in connection with a gas pipeline between central Asia and China, Asia Gas Pipeline (AGP).

RRESI was awarded the AGP contract worth $145m in 2009.

Earlier this year in the UK, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), following its largest ever investigation, found that Rolls-Royce had paid bribes and used middlemen to secure contracts in several countries, including India and Thailand, over a period of more than 20 years.

According to the US Justice Department, working with the SFO, former senior executive in energy James Finley plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and one count of violating the FCPA in front of judge Edmund Sargus Jr in the Southern District of Ohio in July of last year.

Former regional director in energy Keith Barnett and former energy sales employee Aloysius Johannes Jozef Zuurhout both plead guilty of one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA, in December and June respectively.

“Rolls-Royce has committed to full ongoing co-operation with the Department of Justice and cannot comment on action against individuals,” a Rolls-Royce spokesman said.

In January 2017 the US Department of Justice announced a deferred prosecution agreement with Rolls-Royce, in which the company agreed to pay a $800m global resolution with authorities in the US, UK and Brazil.

Rolls-Royce sold its energy business in 2014.

In May the Financial Reporting Council launched a probe into Big Four firm KPMG’s audit work for Rolls-Royce.