[This post is part of a periodic series regarding "old" FCPA enforcement actions]
The core enforcement action described below highlights a rare instance of FCPA violations being charged along with violations of the U.S. domestic bribery statute. The enforcement action is also a rare instance of the United States being the location where the foreign official was allegedly bribed.
Control Systems Specialist / Darrold Crites
In this 1998 criminal information, the DOJ alleged that Control Systems Specialist, Inc. (“Control Systems” a company engaged in the purchase, repair, and resale of surplus military equipment) and its President Darrold Crites made improper payments to a Brazilian Air Force Lt. Colonel (“Col. Z”) stationed at Wright Patterson Air Force Based in Ohio. The information describes Col. Z as follows.
“Col. Z was the Foreign Liaison Officer for the Air Force of the Republic of Brazil … and was authorized to make purchases of military equipment on behalf of the Brazilian Aeronautical Commission (“BAC”), the purchasing agent of the Brazilian Air Force. The BAC was an “instrumentality” of the Government of Brazil.”
The DOJ alleged that Crites met with a civilian employee of the United States Air Force who worked at Wright Patterson Air Force Base as the Command Country Manager (“Country Manager”) for Brazil and was responsible for representing the United States Air Force in dealings with Col. Z.
According to the DOJ, “Country Manager agreed to provide Crites with surplus part numbers, model numbers, and U.S. military sources of surplus parts in exchange for the promise of payments of money, using information he would obtain through his position as a civilian employee of the United States Air Force.”
In turn, the DOJ alleged that “Crites would thereafter purchase the surplus equipment identified by the Country Manager, recondition it, and resell the same to the BAC.” According to the DOJ, Col. Z would approve the BAC’s purchase from Control Systems in exchange for payments of money. Specifically, the DOJ alleged that Crites paid Col. Z “a series of bribes, disguised as ‘consultant fees,’ for each bid accepted by Col. Z on behalf of the BAC.”
The DOJ also alleged that Crites formed a separate company (“Company Y”) with the assistance of an Ohio businessman (“Businessman X”) to pay bribes to Col. Z “in exchange for his approval of Company Y’s bids to sell surplus U.S. military equipment to the BAC.”
According to the DOJ, Crites and Businessman X, as officers of Company Y “arranged not less than forty-four purchases of surplus U.S. military equipment for repair and resale to the BAC.” The DOJ alleged as follows.
“Some of the surplus equipment was obtained by the BAC through the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program and then provided to Control Systems for repair. Other equipment was purchased directly by Control Systems or Company Y, repaired, and then sold to the BAC. In all cases, after each purchase was effected, Col. Z was paid for his approval of the transactions.”
According to the DOJ, Crites, Control Systems and others “paid a total of $99,000 to the Country Manager and a total of $257,139 to Col. Z.”
Based on the above allegations, the DOJ charged Control Systems and Crites with conspiracy to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions and a substantive violation of the FCPA’s anti-bribery provision. Based on the allegations involving the Country Manager, the DOJ also charged Control Systems and Crites with violating 18 USC 201, the domestic bribery statute.
Pursuant to this plea agreement, Crites pleaded guilty to the three charges described above. In the plea agreement, Crites agreed to cooperate with the DOJ. According to the statement of facts in the plea agreement, “Crites and Control Systems received approximately $672,298 as a result of the contracts received from the government of Brazil.” According to a docket entry, Crites was sentenced to three years probation (with the first six months of probation to be spent in home confinement with electronic monitoring with work release privileges) and 150 hours of community service.
Pursuant to this plea agreement, Control Systems also pleaded guilty to the three charges described above. According to a docket entry, Control Systems was ordered to pay a $1,500 fine and was sentenced to one year probation.
International Materials Solutions Corp. / Thomas Qualey
Based on the same core allegations in the Control Systems / Crites enforcement action, in 1999 the DOJ also alleged in this criminal information that International Materials Solutions Corporation (“IMS” – like Control Systems an Ohio company that engaged in the purchase, repair, and resale of surplus military equipment) and Thomas Qualey (the President of IMS) conspired to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions and violated the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions. According to the information, IMS and Qualey paid a total of $67,563 to Col. Z to induce the approval by Col. Z of a bid by IMS for the acquisition and repair of ten fork lift trucks.
Pursuant to this plea agreement, Qualey pleaded guilty to the two charges described above. According to the Statement of Facts in the plea agreement, Qualey and IMS “received approximately $392,250 as a result of the contracts received from the Government of Brazil.” According to this judgment, Qualey was sentenced to three years probation ((with the first four months of probation to be spent in home confinement with electronic monitoring with work release privileges) and 150 hours of community service and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.
Pursuant to this plea agreement, IMS pleaded guilty to the two charges described above. According to this judgment, IMS was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine plus and was sentenced to one year probation.
See this prior post for another FCPA enforcement in connection with the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program.