Swiss firm hit with record fine for oil sanctions violations

A Swiss firm will pay a record $100 million fine for violating oil sanctions targeting Iran, Sudan and Cuba, the Obama administration announced Tuesday.

The settlement agreed to by oil services giant Weatherford International is the largest ever with the government outside of the banking industry, according to the Treasury Department. The company, which was founded in Texas but relocated in 2008, has also agreed to pay another $153 million for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the United Nations Oil-for-Food Program in Iraq.

“Today’s action underscores our deep commitment to target those who seek to violate our sanctions,” Adam Szubin, the director of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in a statement. “Our dedicated staff of investigators will continue their important work to identify, expose, and take action to combat sanctions evasion wherever we find it.” 

Weatherford is accused of violating sanctions with Iran by exporting $23 million worth of goods and services to the country between 2003 and 2007. The company is also accused of conducting $69 million worth of illegal business between 2005 and 2008, and another $300,000 with Sudan.

“This matter is now behind us. We move forward fully committed to a sustainable culture of compliance,” Weatherford Chairman and CEO Bernard Duroc-Danner said in a statement. “With the internal policies and controls currently in place, we maintain a best-in-class compliance program and uphold the highest of ethical standards as we provide the industry's leading products and services to our customers worldwide.”

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