The U.S. government said Thursday that Alcoa Inc. will pay $384 million in fines and forfeitures to settle a case involving bribes paid by subsidiaries to win contracts in Bahrain.
Two Alcoa subsidiaries violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act when they "repeatedly paid bribes to government officials in Bahrain to maintain a key source of business," the Securities and Exchange Commission said.
Alcoa agreed to settle the SEC's charges and a parallel criminal case announced by the Justice Department by paying the $384 million penalty.
More than $110 million in payments "were made to Bahraini officials with influence over contract negotiations between Alcoa and a major government-operated aluminum plant," the SEC said.
The Alcoa subsidiaries "used a London-based consultant with connections to Bahrain's royal family as an intermediary," according to the SEC statement.
"Alcoa lacked sufficient internal controls to prevent and detect the bribes, which were improperly recorded in Alcoa's books and records as legitimate commissions or sales to a distributor," the statement said.
Neither the SEC nor the Justice Department "found evidence that anyone at Alcoa Inc. knowingly engaged in the conduct at issue," the global aluminum giant said in a press release. EFE