Case studies

UN Oil for Food Program

As part of a UN investigation into possible corruption in the Iraqi Oil-for-Food program, FRA carried out a forensic accounting review and eDiscovery exercise.

In April 2004, the United Nations (UN) assigned Paul Volcker to research possible corruption in the Iraqi Oil-for-Food (OFF) program. In the report summarizing its research, Volcker criticized Kojo Annan, son of then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and the Swiss company Cotecna Inspection SA, Kojo’s employer, for trying to conceal their relationship.


FRA was instructed to carry out a forensic accounting review and data governance exercise. The assignment involved a review of the performance of the inspection agent under the OFF program, as well as a forensic accounting analysis of all payments to key individuals.

FRA partner Frances McLeod reported to six congressional investigations, the Swiss federal and cantonal investigations, and to the Independent Inquiry Committee established by the UN.

We were separately retained by UK-based chemical company Innospec when it was under investigation for bribery of Iraqi officials during the UN Oil-for-Food program. The assignment involved both forensic accounting and data governance work in the UK, the US, and Switzerland.


Volker concluded in his March, 2005, report that "there [was] no evidence that the selection of Cotecna, in 1998, was subject to improper influence of the Secretary General in the bidding or selection process."

The Innospec case was the first to be settled jointly by the DOJ and the SFO, concluding with a Deferred Prosecution Agreement in the US and a civil settlement of alleged offences in the UK.

Related contacts
Toby Duthie
Founding Partner
Frances McLeod
Founding Partner
Washington DC
Greg Mason
Founding Partner
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