Schlumberger pleads guilty to violating sanctions with Iran and SudanNews // April 7, 2015
US Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P Carlin, US Attorney Ronald C Machen Jr of the District of Columbia and Under Secretary Eric L Hirschhorn of the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security announced today that Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings Ltd (SOHL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Schlumberger Ltd, has agreed to enter a guilty plea and to pay a US$232,708,356 penalty to the United States for conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) by willfully facilitating illegal transactions and engaging in trade with Iran and Sudan.
The plea agreement, which is contingent upon the court’s approval, also requires SOHL to submit to a three-year period of corporate probation and agree to continue to cooperate with the government and not commit any additional felony violations of US federal law.
In addition to SOHL’s commitments, under the plea agreement, SOHL’s parent company, Schlumberger Ltd, has also agreed to the following additional terms during the three-year term of probation, inter alia: (1) maintaining its cessation of all operations in Iran and Sudan, (2) reporting on the parent company’s compliance with sanctions, (3) responding to requests to disclose information and materials related to the parent company’s compliance with US sanctions laws when requested by US authorities, and (4) hiring an independent consultant to review the parent company’s internal sanctions policies and procedures and the parent company’s internal audits focused on sanctions compliance.
The guilty plea concludes a joint investigation commenced in 2009 and led by the Justice Department’s National Security Division, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Dallas Field Office.
“Over a period of years, Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings Ltd. conducted business with Iran and Sudan from the United States and took steps to disguise those business dealings, thereby willfully violating the US economic sanctions against those regimes,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin.
“The International Emergency Economic Powers Act is an essential tool that the United States uses to address foreign threats to national security through the regulation of commerce. Knowingly circumventing sanctions undermines their efficacy and has the potential to harm both US national security and foreign policy objectives. The guilty plea and significant financial penalty in this case underscore that skirting sanctions for financial gain is a risk corporations ought not take.”