Eight days remain in December, but already it’s been a December to remember from a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement perspective.
Thus far this month, there have been four corporate enforcement actions resulting in $923 million in settlement amounts.
The stocking stuffer of course was yesterday’s announcement by the DOJ of a $772 million FCPA enforcement action against Alstom and related entities.
While the Alstom enforcement action is the largest DOJ FCPA enforcement action of all-time, it is the second largest overall FCPA enforcement action of all-time behind the 2008 Siemens enforcement action ($450 million DOJ component and a $350 million SEC component). To see the current FCPA top-ten settlement list, click here.
The Alstom resolution documents total approximately 400 pages. A future post will comprehensively summarize these documents.
In short, and as highlighted in the DOJ’s release:
“Alstom pleaded guilty to a two-count criminal information filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, charging the company with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by falsifying its books and records and failing to implement adequate internal controls. Alstom admitted its criminal conduct and agreed to pay a criminal penalty of $772,290,000. U.S. District Judge Janet B. Arterton of the District of Connecticut scheduled a sentencing hearing for June 23, 2015.
In addition, Alstom Network Schweiz AG, formerly Alstom Prom (Alstom Prom), Alstom’s Swiss subsidiary, pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging the company with conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA. Alstom Power Inc. (Alstom Power) and Alstom Grid Inc. (Alstom Grid), two U.S. subsidiaries, both entered into deferred prosecution agreements, admitting that they conspired to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA. Alstom Power is headquartered in Windsor, Connecticut, and Alstom Grid, formerly Alstom T&D, was headquartered in New Jersey.
According to the companies’ admissions, Alstom, Alstom Prom, Alstom Power and Alstom Grid, through various executives and employees, paid bribes to government officials and falsified books and records in connection with power, grid and transportation projects for state-owned entities around the world, including in Indonesia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Bahamas and Taiwan. In Indonesia, for example, Alstom, Alstom Prom, and Alstom Power paid bribes to government officials – including a high-ranking member of the Indonesian Parliament and high-ranking members of Perusahaan Listrik Negara, the state-owned electricity company in Indonesia – in exchange for assistance in securing several contracts to provide power-related services valued at approximately $375 million. In total, Alstom paid more than $75 million to secure $4 billion in projects around the world, with a profit to the company of approximately $300 million.
Alstom and its subsidiaries also attempted to conceal the bribery scheme by retaining consultants purportedly to provide consulting services on behalf of the companies, but who actually served as conduits for corrupt payments to the government officials. [...]
The plea agreement cites many factors considered by the department in reaching the appropriate resolution, including: Alstom’s failure to voluntarily disclose the misconduct even though it was aware of related misconduct at a U.S. subsidiary that previously resolved corruption charges with the department in connection with a power project in Italy; Alstom’s refusal to fully cooperate with the department’s investigation for several years; the breadth of the companies’ misconduct, which spanned many years, occurred in countries around the globe and in several business lines, and involved sophisticated schemes to bribe high-level government officials; Alstom’s lack of an effective compliance and ethics program at the time of the conduct; and Alstom’s prior criminal misconduct, including conduct that led to resolutions with various other governments and the World Bank.
After the department publicly charged several Alstom executives, however, Alstom began providing thorough cooperation, including assisting the department’s prosecution of other companies and individuals.”
Stay tuned for a future post that will comprehensively summarize the various prongs of the Alstom enforcement action.