In June 2015, the SFO commenced a civil recovery investigation into the assets of Julio Faerman, a Brazilian national who pleaded guilty to bribery in Brazil in relation to ‘Operation Carwash’, which uncovered systematic bribery to win contracts from the Brazilian state oil company Petrobras. While under investigation by Brazilian prosecutors, Faerman admitted paying bribes to win contracts for the Dutch company SBM Offshore NV, for whom he acted as an agent.
Following Faerman’s proceedings in Brazil, the SFO opened its own civil recovery investigation into the UK assets it suspected were purchased with the proceeds of Faerman’s criminal conduct.
The SFO’s investigation centred on a £4.25m luxury flat at 8 Tasker Lodge and a number of Swiss bank accounts and offshore companies which it believed part-funded the purchase of the West London property. The investigation suggested that these same accounts received payments gained by Faerman during his time working as an agent for SBM Offshore NV in Brazil.
In January 2019, the SFO secured a property freezing order on 8 Tasker Lodge, to prevent it being sold while the investigation proceeded, as well as a Disclosure Order to enable the SFO to trace commissions paid to Faerman to facilitate bribes to his purchase of 8 Tasker Lodge. Faerman’s application to discharge this order in June 2020 was dismissed by Mrs Justice Cutts CDE, who judged there was a clear and compelling public interest in maintaining the disclosure order. More information on this can be found here.
Having taken these steps, the SFO intended to bring a civil recovery claim against Faerman in respect of 8 Tasker Lodge. The SFO has now agreed a settlement with Julio Faerman, whereby the property freezing order and Disclosure Order relating to 8 Tasker Lodge will remain in place until Faerman pays the settlement amount of £1,198,424.78 and the SFO’s £57,000 in costs. The order relating to this settlement can be found here.
The SFO would like to thank the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) and the Dutch FIOD for their co-operation and assistance in this investigation.
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