Aon Corporation, a publicly traded corporation headquartered in Chicago and one of the largest insurance brokerage firms in the world, has entered into an agreement with the Department of Justice to pay a $1.76 million penalty to resolve violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division.
According to the non-prosecution agreement, Aon’s United Kingdom subsidiary, Aon Limited, administered certain training and education funds in connection with its reinsurance business with Instituto Nacional De Seguros (INS), Costa Rica’s state-owned insurance company. The supposed purpose of the funds was to provide education and training for INS officials.
However, between 1997 and 2005, Aon Limited used a significant portion of the funds to reimburse INS officials for non-training related activity, including travel with spouses to overseas tourist destinations, or for uses that could not be determined from Aon’s books and records. Many of the invoices and other records for trips taken by INS officials did not provide any business purpose for the expenditures, or showed that the expenses were clearly not related to a legitimate business purpose.
In addition to the monetary penalty, the agreement requires that Aon Corporation adhere to rigorous compliance, bookkeeping and internal controls standards and cooperate fully with the department.