U.K. Fraud Investigators Drop Probe of Individuals in Airbus Bribery Case
(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. prosecutor has closed an investigation into individuals over bribery at Airbus SE, according to a person familiar with the matter, after a settlement last year saw the planemaker pay a record $4 billion.
Airbus reached a deal with British, French and U.S. prosecutors after a four-year probe stemming from accusations that it used middlemen to win over officials with bribes when it entered new markets. The settlement left the possibility open for individuals to be charged later.
The Serious Fraud Office changed the description of its probe into the company last month. Beforehand, the website had said “the SFO investigation remains active and the position in relation to individuals is being considered.” It no longer has any reference to individuals and says the case remains open until the end of the settlement period, which concludes Jan. 31, 2023.
The SFO declined to comment and Airbus declined to comment. Reuters reported on the investigation closing earlier on Tuesday.
Last week, a disbanded Airbus unit GPT Special Project Management Ltd. pleaded guilty to one count of corruption as part of the SFO’s probe into work it carried out for the Saudi Arabian National Guard. It was fined just over 28 million pounds ($39 million) by a London judge, who said the plea formed “part of a history of corruption that had existed for a number of years, before and after the indictment period.”
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