Universal Corporation
Universal Corporation
United States
Department of Justice
Malawi, Mozambique, Thailand
Legal Person
Non-Prosecution Agreement
Criminal Fine (if subsidiary does not make payment)
Art.16, Art.26
Art. 1, Art. 2, Art. 8
Conspiracy to Bribe Foreign Officials, Conspiracy to Falsify Books and Records, Bribery of Foreign Officials
Conspiracy to Bribe Foreign Officials, Conspiracy to Falsify Books and Records, Bribery of Foreign Officials
According to the June 2011 United States Report to the OECD, On August 6, 2010, "Universal Leaf Tabacos Ltda. (Universal Brazil), the Brazilian subsidiary of Universal Corporation (Universal), was charged in the Eastern District of Virginia with conspiring to violate the anti-bribery and books and records provisions of the FCPA, and with violating the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA. On the same date, the SEC filed a settled civil action against Universal in the District of Columbia, charging the parent company with violations of the anti-bribery, books and records, and internal controls provisions of the FCPA. The criminal and civil charges against Universal and its subsidiary stem from schemes to bribe foreign officials in Thailand, Mozambique, and Malawi. From 2000 to 2004, Universal Brazil and two of its competitors, Dimon Incorporated and Standard Commercial Corporation, sold Brazilian-grown tobacco to the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly (TTM). Each of these three companies retained sales agents in Thailand, and collaborated through those agents to apportion tobacco sales to the TTM among themselves, coordinate their sales prices, and pay kickbacks to officials of the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly in order to ensure that each company would share in the Thai tobacco market. These companies made annual sales to the TTM, and in order to secure these sales contracts, each company paid kickbacks to certain TTM representatives based on the number of kilograms of tobacco they sold to the TTM. To obtain these contracts, Universal Brazil paid approximately $697,000 in bribes to TTM officials during this period. In addition, Universal Brazil employees then falsely characterized the corrupt payments on the company's books and records as "commissions" paid to the company's sales agents." (Source: US Report to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, "Steps taken to implement and enforce the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions," Information as of May 31, 2011, Universal Corporation Case Summary at 44-45, accessed at According to the Universal Corporation's Non-Prosecution Agreement with the Department of Justice, "It is understood that [Universal Corporation's subsidiary] Universal Brazil has agreed to pay a monetary penalty in the amount of $4,400,000. Universal agrees to pay this monetary penalty to the United States Treasury on behalf of Universal Brazil if for any reason Universal Brazil has not paid this amount within ten days of the sentencing of Universal Brazil." (Source: In Re: Universal Corporation, Department of Justice Non-Prosecution Agreement and Statement of Facts, August 6, 2010.)