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by Mike Caswell
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has fined Flutter Entertainment PLC, the successor to former Toronto Stock Exchange listing Amaya Inc., over Amaya's failure to properly follow rules designed to avoid bribery and corruption. The SEC says that lobbyists in Russia billed Amaya for supposed "consulting services" and "legal services," while providing few details. Amaya simply approved the payments, which totalled $8.9-million over a five-year period. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.)
The penalties for Flutter are contained in an administrative order that the SEC released on Monday, March 6. The order directs Flutter to pay $4-million and to cease and desist from future violations. The sanction represents a negotiated settlement, in which Flutter did not admit any wrongdoing.
The case stems from payments that Amaya made to consultants in Russia from 2015 through to 2020. According to the SEC, the payments violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. (The FCPA, as the rule is known, is a piece of law designed to prevent the bribery of foreign officials. Those subject to the rule include any companies with a U.S. listing. Amaya previously traded on the Nasdaq and the Toronto Stock Exchange.)
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