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Monday
Jan052015

Israel arrests six state power company execs for taking Siemens bribes

Six current and former executives from state-owned Israel Electric Corporation were detained last week in an investigation of alleged bribery involving Siemens.

Investigators from the Israel Securities Authority arrested Yacov (Yasha) Hain, a senior vice president for engineering projects, Haaretz said. Ten days ago, Hain said he was resigning from IEC for health reasons. He's accused of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes.

Haaretz said there's a court-ordered gag order on the release of details about the case.

The investigation in Israel is related to Siemens' $800 million FCPA settlement in 2008. The company also paid $800 million in penalties in Germany for overseas bribery.

Siemens admitted in the FCPA case to paying $20 million in bribes from 1999 to 2001 to win an IEC contract worth $786 million.

In June last year, police in Israel made four arrests in the case, including former Siemens Israel CEO Oren Aharonson. He cooperated with prosecutors in exchange for immunity. After prosecutors discovered new evidence, he was re-indicted.

Aharonson was first charged with bribing former Tel Aviv district court judge Dan Cohen, who served as an IEC director. Cohen confessed to taking $1.36 million in bribes and pleaded guilty. He was sentenced in 2013 to six years in prison.

Also arrested last week was David Kohn, IEC's vice president for power generation and transmission until 2004. He was chairman of the firm's tenders committee in 2001. He's accused of fraud, money laundering, and accepting bribes, Haaretz said.

Lawyers for Kohn and Hain said their clients are innocent of wrongdoing.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.