Gunvor S.A., a subsidiary of commodities trader Gunvor Group, has agreed to pay approximately $661 million in fines and forfeiture after pleading guilty to bribing officials in Ecuador.

Charges and Sentencing

The U.S. Justice Department revealed on Friday that Gunvor S.A. was charged with conspiring to bribe officials of Ecuador's state-owned oil company to secure contracts for purchasing oil products. The company admitted guilt and was ordered by a federal judge in Brooklyn to pay $374 million in fines and $287 million in forfeiture of illicit profits.

Responsibility and Cooperation

Gunvor, based in Switzerland, expressed accountability for the actions of certain former agents and employees who had already left the company prior to the start of the Justice Department's investigation. Chairman Torbjörn Törnqvist acknowledged that mistakes were made and highlighted the company's efforts to rectify these issues.

Resolution and Credits

Details of the Scheme

According to government officials, from 2012 to 2020, Gunvor and its accomplices disbursed over $97 million to intermediaries who utilized a portion of these funds for bribing multiple Ecuadorian officials. The money was often funneled through U.S. banks via shell companies located in Panama and the British Virgin Islands.

Profit and Outcome

Gunvor reportedly generated profits exceeding $384 million from the illicit business dealings outlined in the Justice Department's case.

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