BHP Billiton pays $25M to settle SEC anti-bribery complaint

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — BHP Billiton has agreed to pay $25 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges that it violated anti-bribery laws by failing to have a proper system in place to prevent the risk of bribery when it paid for trips of 60 government officials to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

The SEC says the mining company paid as much as $16,000 for each official and their guests. Travel packages included event tickets, stays at a luxury hotel and sightseeing excursions. .

But the agency says BHP Billiton employees were not properly trained to evaluate bribery risks and the paperwork for the trips was inaccurate or incomplete.

In settling the case, BHP Billiton did not admit or deny any wrongdoing. The company says it has strengthened its policies.