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Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Delivers Remarks Announcing Glencore Guilty Pleas in Connection with Foreign Bribery and Market Manipulation Schemes


Washington, DC
United States

Remarks as Delivered

Good afternoon.

I am joined today by Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Kenneth Polite, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut Vanessa Roberts Avery, FBI Associate Deputy Director Brian Turner, Chairman of the CFTC Russ Behnam and Deputy Chief of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Craig Goldberg.

Today, the Justice Department is announcing charges in two separate districts, and in two separate criminal cases, involving Glencore, one of the world’s largest mining and commodity trading companies. The company has agreed to plead guilty in each case.  

In connection with the first plea, Glencore has agreed to pay approximately $700 million in penalties for its decade-long scheme to bribe foreign officials in seven different countries.

The second plea involves Glencore’s U.S. commodities trading arm, Glencore Ltd., which engaged in a scheme to manipulate fuel oil prices at two of the busiest commercial shipping ports in the United States over the course of eight years. Glencore has agreed to pay approximately $485 million in penalties.

This represents the Justice Department’s largest criminal enforcement action to date for a commodity price manipulation conspiracy in oil markets. 

Glencore made hundreds of millions of dollars in profits from these crimes – including $272 million from the foreign bribery scheme and $144 million from the commodity price manipulation scheme.

And these crimes exacted great costs across the globe – perpetuating transnational corruption and manipulating oil prices in two of the largest fuel markets in America.

As a result, Glencore has agreed to pay a total of approximately $1.1 billion in criminal fines and forfeiture, including forfeiture of all of Glencore’s estimated profits. The company has also agreed to retain independent compliance monitors both in the United States and overseas.

In addition to these corporate enforcement actions, the Justice Department has secured guilty pleas from two individuals – former Glencore traders – for their involvement in this conduct.

I want to thank and recognize our prosecutors and law enforcement teams, and our partners across government, for their exceptional work in both cases.

Corporate criminal cases, particularly international cases, are challenging and resource intensive. But that will not deter us.

We will continue to investigate, disrupt, and hold accountable corporations that break our laws.

And we will continue to prosecute the individuals who commit and profit from corporate malfeasance.

The rule of law requires that there not be one rule for the powerful and another for the powerless; one rule for the rich and another for the poor.

The Justice Department will continue to bring to bear its resources on these types of cases, no matter the company and no matter the individual.

I will now turn the program over to Assistant Attorney General Polite.

Updated May 25, 2022