November 9, 2017 / 10:38 PM / a year ago

REFILE-Ex-SBM executives plead guilty in U.S. to Petrobras bribe charges

(Corrects day Robert Zubiate pleaded guilty to Monday in third paragraph)

Nov 9 (Reuters) - Two former executives at Dutch oil services company SBM Offshore NV have pleaded guilty to U.S. charges that they participated in a scheme to bribe officials at three foreign state-run oil companies, including Brazil's Petrobras.

Anthony Mace, who was SBM's chief executive officer from 2008 to 2011, pleaded guilty on Thursday in federal court in Houston in one of the first U.S. Justice Department cases filed against individuals related to bribery allegations involving Petrobras.

The plea by Mace, 65, to one count of conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act came after a former sales and marketing executive at an SBM U.S. subsidiary, Robert Zubiate, pleaded guilty on Monday to the same charge, prosecutors said.

Mace, a British citizen, is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 2. Zubiate, who was based in Texas and California while with SBM, is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 31.

Lawyers for the two men did not respond to requests for comment and neither did SBM or Petrobras.

The guilty pleas came after SBM on Monday said that a Brazilian investigation into its role in corruption cases had not been resolved and it has set aside an additional $238 million to cover costs from an unexpected U.S. inquiry.

The Dutch company had also been forced to suspend its involvement in tenders with Petróleo Brasileiro SA, as Petrobras is formally known, a major customer.

SBM had paid $240 million to Dutch authorities in 2014 to settle the Latin American bribery case and set aside another $280 million last year to settle related issues in Brazil.

It announced on that Monday the Brazilian case remained unresolved.

Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Leslie Adler

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