When Anthony Stimler left Glencore Plc in August 2019, he had two big secrets: For a dozen years, he’d paid millions in bribes to Nigerian government officials and other African officials and intermediaries. And he was now helping a U.S. Justice Department investigation into the company and numerous former colleagues.
According to an explosive report Tuesday by Bloomberg, before getting caught, Stimler spent years in the game, beginning as early as 2007. And while it sounds like a hard-core business, he offers a mild-mannered profile.
Affable and polite, he’s known in his London Jewish community by the Yiddish nickname “Hershy” and served on the board of Camp Simcha, which helps sick children and taking a two-year break in the middle of his tenure to care for his own child, who suffered from leukemia (and has now recovered.)
His confession in July to foreign bribery and money laundering charges, the first ever by a Glencore trader, makes clear that he knew just what he’d been doing — and that he didn’t act alone. A lawyer for Stimler declined to comment for this article, as did Glencore. Stimler is out on bail in the U.K. and awaiting sentencing at a later date.
“When I made requests for payments to intermediaries, I was aware that other Glencore traders who worked with me were doing the same thing by directing our intermediaries to make bribe payments to government officials,” Stimler told a federal judge in New York, according to a transcript of his guilty plea.
“I intended that a proportion of the payment to intermediaries operating in Nigeria were to be passed on to Nigerian state-owned oil company officials. The purpose of the payment was to influence those officials’ decisions regarding the Nigerian government’s allocations of crude oil cargo.
“Your honor, I knew what I was doing was wrong and unlawful,” he continued. “I’m extremely remorseful for my conduct.”
It was conduct that was, nonetheless, handsomely rewarded. One of the primary trading houses that stepped up to buy those cargoes, according to prosecutors: Glencore.