Grupo Aval resolves DOJ and SEC investigations related to Colombian road project
We represented Grupo Aval and its subsidiary Corficolombiana in coordinated resolutions of FCPA investigations by DOJ and SEC
Davis Polk represented Grupo Aval Acciones y Valores S.A. and its majority-owned subsidiary Corporación Financiera Colombiana S.A. (Corficolombiana) in securing a coordinated resolution of investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).The investigations concerned allegations of improper payments to public officials in connection with a project in Colombia carried out by a joint venture led by Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht and in which Grupo Aval and Corficolombiana were minority participants.
Corficolombiana entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with DOJ, agreeing to the filing of a one-count criminal information charging the company with conspiracy to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions based on the conduct of a former executive. In parallel proceedings, Grupo Aval and Corficolombiana agreed to the entry of a civil cease-and-desist order by the SEC based on the same conduct. The resolution with DOJ does not include any charges against Grupo Aval and the parallel SEC order does not include any allegations against Grupo Aval involving the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions.
Total penalties arising from the resolutions are approximately $60.6 million, after deducting credits for fines paid to authorities in Colombia in connection with the same underlying matter. The U.S. criminal penalty also reflects a 30% discount off the bottom of the applicable U.S. sentencing guidelines range as a result of the companies’ exemplary cooperation and remediation. The DOJ also concluded that no independent compliance monitor was warranted.
The Davis Polk team was led by partners Angela T. Burgess and Tatiana R. Martins, and included senior counsel Denis J. McInerney, counsel Jordan Leigh Smith, Nino Stamatovic and David B. Toscano and a team of associates. Members of the Davis Polk team are based in the New York and Washington DC offices.