The sentencing closes a painful period for the company, which, separately, settled the corruption charges it faced as a company when its subsidiary SNC-Lavalin Construction Inc. pleaded guilty in the Court of Quebec to a single charge of fraud on 18 December.
All other charges against SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. and its international marketing arm, SNC-Lavalin International Inc., have been withdrawn as part of the settlement, which sees SNC-Lavalin Construction Inc. paying a C$280m fine over five years.
Original Article: 8 Years In Prison For Former SNC Construction Executive
The SNC Lavalin scandal has touched many people who live in Canada and North America over the last several years. The article in the Global Construction Review summarizes the sentencing issue to SNC Lavalin former head of international construction – Sami Bébawi.
Bebawi was sentenced to eight years in prison, he was found guilty for the following counts:
- Corruption of Foreign Officials
- Laundering of Proceeds of Crime
In short SNC was found to have laundered over $100 million between a shell company and the Gadhafi (read: corrupt) regime between the early 90s and 2011.
SNC Lavalin is a global engineering and consulting firm that is based in Canada. Their company was rocked in 2015 when the allegations against the company were brought to light. Since then there have been multiple trials and scrutiny against SNC Lavalin.
Perception of the Construction Industry
The charges against SNC come at a time when the construction industry is going through a major image change. Traditionally the construction industry is seen as a “tough” industry. Contractors are typically given a bad name because of some of the unknowns of the work. SNC’s actions have made it more challenging for companies to build trust.
But how should a construction company behave?
Obviously filtering money through an offshore account to a corrupt regime in order to pick up more work is on the far end of the spectrum. That being said, in a much more politically sensitive world it is important that corporations behave accordingly. Construction companies should put in place expenses and gifting guidelines that outline restrictions in dealing with both public officials and organizations.
While guidelines are a good start companies need to adopt policies of openness, clear audit trails and good corporate stewardship.
Is your company involved in public contracts? How do you handle expenses and your dealings with them?