Schnitzer Steel to pay $7.7 million to settle SEC case

Company did not admit or deny charges, according to commission officials

Portland's Schnitzer Steel on Monday agreed to pay $7.7 million to settle a federal Securities and Exchange Commission charge that Schnitzer had violated anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Schnitzer's agreement to pay the money occurred at the same time that the SEC formally filed the charges against Schnitzer.

The commission charged that from at least 1999 through 2004, Schnitzer's South Korean subsidiary 'made improper cash payments or gave gifts to managers of government-owned steel mills in China,' according to an SEC statement issued Monday.

The commission also charged that Schnizter paid bribes to managers of privately owned steel meels in China and South Korea.

The purpose of the payments and bribes, the SEC charged, was to 'induce the managers of the steel mills to purchase scrap metal from Schnitzer and Schnitzer's Japanese customers' in violation of the United States' Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Calls made to Schnitzer officials were not immediately returned Monday.

The SEC statement said Schnitzer did not admit or deny the charges, but agreed to 'disgorge profits of $6.28 million' in connection with the case and pay interest of $1.44 million. Schnitzer's $7.7 million payment goes to the U.S. Treasury.