(Bloomberg) -- The U.K.’s fraud prosecutor closed its investigation into individuals over bribery at Amec Foster Wheeler Plc, after the British engineering firm’s parent company settled the four-year probe earlier this year.
John Wood Group Plc, which acquired Amec in 2017, agreed to pay $177 million as part of a global agreement to settle the investigation in June. The U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office walked away with 103 million pounds ($141 million), the biggest portion of the settlement, while U.S. prosecutors got more than $28 million as part of the deal.
“There is a high bar for the SFO to charge individuals with a criminal offense,” a spokesperson for the SFO said. “We close cases where it is not in the public interest for us to continue with our investigation.”
Wood Group’s deferred prosecution agreement allows the company to avoid prosecution for three years if it continues to meet certain criteria laid out by authorities. The SFO opened the probe in 2017 over a scheme to pay bribes to officials in Brazil, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement earlier this year.
The DPA only relates to the potential criminal liability of Amec Foster Wheeler Energy Ltd. and does not address whether liability of any sort attaches to any employee, agent, former employee or ex-agent of the company.
Wood Group’s payment was one of the largest ever obtained in a U.K.-led bribery and corruption case. The biggest was a $1.2 billion settlement with Airbus SE that also involved U.S. and French authorities. The SFO has faced criticism in recent years for failing to prosecute individuals after securing settlements with companies.
A spokesperson for Wood Group declined to comment.
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