In 2003, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) followed by the Department of Justice (DoJ) issued a formal order directing an investigation in connection with the pursuit of business in Iran by certain oil companies including, among others, TOTAL.
The inquiry concerned an agreement concluded by the Company with consultants concerning gas fields in Iran and aimed at verifying whether certain payments made under this agreement would have benefited Iranian officials in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the Company’s accounting obligations.
In late May 2013, and after several years of discussions, TOTAL reached settlements with the U.S. authorities (a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the DoJ and a Cease and Desist Order with the SEC). These settlements, which put an end to these investigations, were concluded without admission of guilt and in exchange for TOTAL respecting a number of obligations, including the payment of a fine ($245.2 million) and civil compensation ($153 million) that occurred during the second quarter of 2013. The reserve of $398.2 million that was booked in the financial statements as of June 30, 2012, has been fully released. By virtue of these settlements, TOTAL also accepted the appointment of a French independent compliance monitor to review the Group’s compliance program and to recommend possible improvements. For more information, refer to point 1.10.2. of chapter 5 (Prevention of corruption risks) and point 3.7. (Fair operating pratices).
With respect to the same facts, TOTAL and its late Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, who was President of the Middle East division at the time of the facts, were placed under formal investigation in France following a judicial inquiry initiated in 2006. In late May 2013, the Prosecutor’s office recommended that the case be sent to trial. This position was reiterated by the Prosecutor’s office in June 2014. By order notified in October 2014, the investigating magistrate decided to refer the case to trial.
At this point, the Company considers that the resolution of these cases is not expected to have a significant impact on the Group’s financial situation or consequences for its future planned operations.