Both brokers will pay criminal penalties as per the respective DPAs
By Kenneth Araullo
UK reinsurance brokers Tysers Insurance Brokers and HW Wood Ltd. have reached an agreement with the United States Department of Justice to settle an investigation related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
According to an official release from the DOJ, the investigation revealed involvement in illegal activities, specifically the payment of bribes to officials in Ecuador. Tysons and HW Wood both agreed to a three-year Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) after criminal charges were filed in the Southern District of Florida. The charges include conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery sections of the FCPA.
According to Nicole M. Argentieri, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, the companies admitted participating in a corrupt scheme. The scheme involved bribing several Ecuadorian government officials, resulting in significant illegal profits for the parties involved. The resolution of these cases is in line with the Department’s commitment to ensuring accountability for both corporate and individual criminals.
Court documents show that from 2013 to 2017, Tysers (operating as Integro Insurance Brokers Ltd during this period) and HW Wood arranged for approximately $2.8 million in bribes through various employees and agents. of. The bribes were paid to the then-president and three other officials of Ecuador’s two state-owned insurance companies, Seguros Sucre SA and Seguros Rocafuerte SA.
The statement revealed that the objective was to obtain unfair advantages in securing and maintaining reinsurance business with these companies. The bribes transferred through accounts in Florida and other locations included commissions totaling more than $28.2 million, with Tysers and HW Wood keeping a significant portion of it as profits.
Jim Lee, chief of IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), stressed that these actions caused a breach of trust and undermined fair competition. Luis Quesada, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigation Division, also reiterated his commitment to addressing FCPA violations to maintain corruption-free markets and governments.
Additionally, under the terms of the DPA, Tysons and HW Wood have also agreed to cooperate in ongoing or future investigations related to these incidents. They also committed to enhancing their compliance programs and providing regular reports to the Department on redress and implementation of these measures over the three-year period of the DPA.
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