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FCPA Blog Daily News

« Bribes That Breach Security | Main | Disclosing Compliance »
Tuesday
Jul062010

Former CCI Exec Extradited

The DOJ said today that Flavio Ricotti, an Italian citizen indicted in April 2009 with five other former executives of California-based valve-maker Control Components Inc. (CCI), has been extradited to the United States from Germany. He's facing trial for his alleged role in a conspiracy to bribe officials of foreign state-owned companies and private parties.

Ricotti, 49, of Bientina, Italy, was arrested in February this year in Germany and extradited from there last week.

The others indicted with Ricotti are Stuart Carson, CCI’s former chief executive officer; Hong (Rose) Carson, CCI’s former director of sales for China and Taiwan; Paul Cosgrove, CCI’s former director of worldwide sales; David Edmonds, CCI’s former vice president of worldwide customer service; and Han Yong Kim, the former president of CCI’s Korean office. Their trial is scheduled to start on November 2, 2010.

Ricotti and his co-defendants are charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and the Travel Act, one count of violating the FCPA, and three counts of violating the Travel Act. The conspiracy count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the value gained or lost. The FCPA count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $100,000 or twice the value gained or lost. The Travel Act counts each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of the greater of $250,000 or twice the pecuniary gain or loss.

Two other former CCI employees pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to bribe officers and employees of foreign state-owned companies on behalf of CCI. In January 2009, Mario Covino, the company's former director of worldwide factory sales, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA. He admitted arranging bribes of about $1 million to officers and employees of several foreign state-owned companies. In February last year, Richard Morlok, CCI’s former finance director, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and admitted arranging about $628,000 in bribes to officers and employees of several foreign state-owned companies. Covino and Morlok are scheduled to be sentenced in January 2011.

In July 2009, CCI pleaded guilty to violating the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (15 U.S.C. §78dd-2) and the Travel Act (18 U.S. C. §1952). It admitted bribing foreign officials in a decade-long scheme to secure contracts in about 36 countries. CCI's three-year plea agreement imposed a criminal fine of $18.2 million and required appointment of a compliance monitor and cooperation with the DOJ's investigation.

The government alleges that Ricotti, who was CCI’s vice president and head of sales for Europe, Africa and the Middle East from 2001 through 2007, arranged bribes of at least $750,000 to officers and employees of state-owned companies (considered "foreign officials" under the FCPA), and bribes of about $380,000 to officers and employees of private companies. The payments allegedly related to projects in the United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, India and Qatar.

CCI designs and makes valves for the oil, gas, nuclear, coal and power plant industries. It is owned by British-based IMI plc, which trades on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol IMI.L.

As the DOJ says, an indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

A copy of the DOJ's July 6, 2010 release can be viewed here.

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