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Former Glencore trader pleads guilty to Nigerian oil graft

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1 August 2021

In the United States, a former Glencore Plc oil trader admitted to taking part in an international plan to bribe Nigerian officials in exchange for favorable treatment from the state-owned oil corporation.

Anthony Stimler pleaded guilty during a video hearing in federal court in Manhattan on Monday. Stimler is a former employee of Glencore’s oil division, according to the company.

In a statement, Glencore said, “The conduct detailed in the plea is abhorrent and has no place in Glencore.” “Glencore has and continues to cooperate fully with the DOJ and other authorities in their investigations.”

Glencore is already facing a wide-ranging investigation by the US Department of Justice into claims of bribery and money laundering, and the plea is just the latest legal setback for the company. The corporation is also being investigated by the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Brazil. Authorities all across the world are tightening their grip over commodities trade and the firms that dominate it, as well as redoubling their efforts to combat market manipulation.

Glencore spokesman Charles Watenphul declined to comment on whether other current or past workers could face additional charges.

Glencore announced on Monday that it has taken “corrective actions” as a result of the government’s inquiry.

“Over the previous few years, Glencore has greatly upgraded its ethics and compliance program with the goal of building a best-in-class program,” the company said.

Violation of the FCPA
Stimler admitted to colluding with others to break the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and launder money. Calls to his lawyers were not returned right away.

According to the accusations, “foreign officials caused the Nigerian state-owned and state-controlled oil business to award oil contracts and offer more lucrative grades of oil on more favorable delivery terms in exchange for the bribes” in Nigeria.

According to an online biography, Stimler joined Glencore in 1999 from a family-owned petrochemical conversion company. After the chief of the oil division retired, he left in 2019.

Seven co-conspirators are named in the allegations against Stimler, including citizens of the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Mexico, Spain, and Israel. Prosecutors did not name those individuals. On a $500,000 bond, Stimler was allowed to remain free in the United Kingdom.

Glencore, based in Baar, Switzerland, announced in July 2018 that a subsidiary had been served with a subpoena in a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and money laundering investigation spanning the years 2007 to 2018, involving the company’s operations in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Venezuela.

A former Glencore trader pled guilty to rigging an oil price benchmark four months ago, allowing the world’s largest commodities trader to profit from price swings and enrich himself. During a hearing in San Francisco, Emilio Heredia admitted to directing buy and sell orders that pushed fuel oil prices up and down.

The case is U.S. v. Stimler, 21-cr-00471, Southern District of New York, United States District Court (Manhattan).

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