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FCPA Blog Daily News

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Wednesday
May012013

Another exec charged in Alstom case

Alstom head office, 3 avenue André Malraux, Levallois-Perret, France (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)The DOJ said Wednesday that a former vice president of sales for Alstom's U.S. subsidiary became the third man from the company charged with overseas bribery and related offenses.

William Pomponi, 65, was indicted for conspiring to violate the FCPA and to launder money, as well as substantive FCPA and money laundering offenses.

In April, Frederic Pierucci, 45, a French citizen and current Alstom executive in charge of sales, was charged in an indictment in the District of Connecticut, where Alstom's U.S. affiliate is based. He was arrested at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

David Rothschild, 67, of Massachusetts, a former vice president of sales for Alstom USA, pleaded guilty in November last year to one FCPA conspiracy count. His plea was unsealed in April.

The DOJ said in a superseding indictment that the three defendants and others bribed a member of Indonesian Parliament and officials at Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), the state-owned electricity company.

The bribes helped Alstom and a consortium partner win a $118 million contract for the Tarahan project. 

The DOJ said the defendants hired two consultants who were used to pay the bribes.

According to the DOJ,

The first consultant retained by the defendants allegedly received hundreds of thousands of dollars into his Maryland bank account to be used to bribe the member of Parliament . . . The consultant then allegedly transferred the bribe money to a bank account in Indonesia for the benefit of the official. 

Paris-based Alstom provides equipment and services for power generation and high-speed rail transport. It operates in more than 70 countries with 93,000 employees. Its ADRs trade in the pink sheets under the symbol ALSMY.PK.

The company has been under investigation in the U.K. and Switzerland for overseas bribery.

In the U.S., the FCPA conspiracy and substantive counts are punishable by up to five years in prison and fines between $100,000 and $250,000.

The money-laundering conspiracy and substantive counts carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000.

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