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Enforcement Action Dataset


Initiation Date:    09/09/2022  Information

Prosecuting Agency:    U.S. Department of Justice

Name of Prosecuting Attorneys:   

  • Erek L. Barron, United States Attorney
  • Lorinda I. Laryea, Acting Chief, Fraud Section, Criminal Division
  • Derek J. Ettinger, Assistant Chief, Fraud Section, Criminal Division
  • Joseph McFarlane, Trial Attorney, Fraud Section, Criminal Division
  • David I. Salem, Assistant United States Attorney

Assisting Agencies:    Federal Bureau of Investigation , Brazilian Law Enforcement Agency

Type of Action:    DOJ Criminal Proceeding

Docket or Case Number:    22-cr-00325

Court:    D. Maryland

Origin of the Proceeding:    Unknown

Whistleblower:    Unknown

Case Status:    Resolved

Summary  Information

GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A. ("GOL") was Brazil's largest air transportation and travel services group and operated Latin America's largest low-cost airline.

According to the documents in this case, between 2012 and 2013, a director on GOL's board conspired to pay approximately $3.8 million in bribes through an intermediary to Brazilian government officials, including a high-ranking legislator in the National Congress of Brazil and a separate high-ranking official in the Legislative Chamber of the Federal District of Brasilia. The bribes were paid to ensure the passage of two pieces of legislation that involved certain payroll tax and fuel tax reductions that financially benefitted GOL, along with other airlines.

On September 9, 2022, the DOJ filed a single count information under seal against GOL alleging a conspiracy to violate the antibribery and books and records provisions of the FCPA. On September 16, 2022, GOL entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ. Under the terms of that agreement, GOL admitted to the misconduct and agreed to pay a criminal penalty of $87 million and to self report on the status and implementation of the company's enhanced anticorruption compliance polices for a term of three years. The $87 million penalty represented a 25% reduction off the bottom of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines range, and the DOJ agreed to further reduce the penalty to a total of $17 million, including a credit of $1.7 million for a payment to Brazilian authorities, due to the company's inability to pay the full fine. The DOJ noted the company's full cooperation and remediation, but the DOJ did not give any credit for self-reporting the misconduct.

In a related administrative proceeding settled on September 15, 2022, the SEC ordered GOL to cease and desist violations of the antibribery, books and records, and internal controls provisions of the FCPA. Under the terms of the settlement, GOL agreed to pay $70 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest; however, the SEC lowered to total amount GOL owed to the agency to $24.5 million due to the company's inability to pay the full amount. The SEC also agreed to credit up to $1.7 million the company paid to Brazilian officials. The SEC noted GOL's cooperation and remediation.

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