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Tuesday
May122015

Former Alstom ethics and compliance chief charged in UK for overseas bribes

Budapest Metro (Image courtesy of Alstom)The UK Serious Fraud Office said Tuesday that it charged another former Alstom executive for bribing foreign officials.

The SFO charged Jean-Daniel Lainé when he appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

Prior to retirement, Lainé was senior vice president of ethics & compliance and a director of Alstom International Limited.

His case has been set for trial at Southwark Crown Court in London.

Lainé, 68, is a French national. He was charged with two counts of corruption under section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906, as well as two conspiracy counts under section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977.

The alleged offenses took place in 2006 and 2007 and are connected with the supply of trains to the Budapest (Hungary) Metro, the SFO said.

He's the sixth individual the SFO has charged in its investigation of Alstom.

The Paris-based company is a manufacturer in the rail, power, and electricity transmission sectors.

In July 2014, the SFO charged Alstom Network UK Ltd and British nationals Graham Hill and Robert Hallett with corruption in India, Poland, and Tunisia. Their trial is set to start in May 2016.

The SFO also charged Alstom Power Ltd, Nicholas Reynolds, and Johanes Venskus with corruption in Lithuania. Their trial is scheduled to begin in January 2017.

In the United States, Alstom pleaded guilty in December last year to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by bribing officials in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Bahamas. It paid the DOJ $772 million in criminal penalties to settle the charges. The fine was the biggest criminal penalty for FCPA offenses and the second biggest FCPA enforcement action overall.

Three Alstom executives have pleaded guilty in the United States to bribing officials in Indonesia to win a power project contract. Charges are pending against a fourth executive.

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