U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 20174 / June 29, 2007
SEC v. Si Chan Wooh, Case No. CV-07-957 ST. (D. Or. filed June 29, 2007)
SEC Settles Charges Against Former Portland Steel Executive for Anti-Bribery Statute Violations
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against a former executive of Portland, Oregon-based Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc., for violating the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA"). Without admitting or denying the allegations, Si Chan Wooh of Tacoma, Washington, the former Executive Vice President and head of a Schnitzer subsidiary, agreed to pay approximately $40,000 in disgorgement, interest and penalties.
The Commission's complaint, filed in federal district court in Portland, Oregon, alleges that from at least 1999 through 2004, Wooh paid over $200,000 in cash bribes and other gifts to managers of government-owned steel mills in China to induce them to purchase scrap metal from Schnitzer. According to the Commission, Schnitzer realized over $6.2 million in profits from sales to customers procured through these illicit payments. The Complaint further alleges that during the same period, Wooh made or authorized similar payments totaling over $1.7 million to managers of privately owned steel mills in both China and South Korea.
The Commission's complaint alleges that Wooh violated the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA and that he aided and abetted Schnitzer's violations of the FCPA provisions that require companies to keep accurate books and records (respectively, Sections 30A and 13(b)(2)(A) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934). Without admitting or denying the charges, Wooh agreed to disgorge $14,819.38 in bonuses plus prejudgment interest of $1,312.52, to pay a $25,000 civil penalty, and to an order enjoining him from violations of the FCPA in the future.
In October 2006, Schnitzer settled related charges by the Commission by paying $7.7 million in disgorgement. Schnitzer also paid $7.5 million in penalties to settle related criminal charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Commission acknowledges the assistance of the Department of Justice in the Commission's investigation. The Commission's investigation is continuing.
See also: Administrative Release 34-54606 (Oct. 16, 2006) (Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.)