DOJ Organizes First U.S. Trial in Oil Bribery Scheme

A former employee of Vitol was charged with bribing Ecuadorian officials.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) brought its first individual to trial this week as part of a wide-ranging probe addressing international bribery in South America. A former employee of Vitol, the world’s largest oil trader, will stand trial in Brooklyn, New York, for allegedly bribing Ecuadorian officials $1 million to win a $300 million oil sale contract.

Despite the prevalence of bribery among government officials in South American countries, international companies that participate in such activities while operating in the United States violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), a law that explicitly prohibits foreign bribery. While this trial is ongoing, the Justice Department probe will continue to investigate violations of the FCPA committed by international commodities traders, that is merchants who buy and sell raw materials. 

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Justice Department attorneys as they litigate the case in Brooklyn.
  • For U.S. investigators as they look into bribery and corruption under the FCPA.
  • For the judge(s) who will hear and issue a ruling in the trial.

Sources: Reuters

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