SBM CEO settles 'favouritism' charge with Brazilian prosecutors
AMSTERDAM Jan 25 (Reuters) - The chief executive of SBM Offshore and one of its board members settled "personal favouritism" charges with Brazilian prosecutors for around $60,000 each, with no admission of guilt, the company said on Monday.
The company said in a statement it believed the charges against CEO Bruno Chabas and board member Sietze Hepkema were "without merit" but it was easier to reach a settlement than to try to fight them.
Spokespeople for the company could not immediately be reached for a fuller explanation of what the men were alleged to have done wrong.
In December, Brazilian authorities unveiled criminal charges against 12 former and current executives and board members linked to an alleged bribery scheme at SBM, the world's top leaser of oil production ships, and state oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA.
However, Chabas and Hepkema only joined SBM in 2012 after the period in which the bribery was alleged to have taken place. The company described the "personal favouritism" charge on Monday as a "misdemeanour."
In November 2014, the company paid Dutch authorities a record $240 million to settle a two-year inquiry into improper payments made to government officials in Angola, Brazil and Equatorial Guinea between 2007 and 2011. (Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Mark Potter)
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