Anti-corruption case law in 2011
December 29, 2011– Magyar Telekom[DOJ/SEC] Deutsche Telekom and its subsidiary Magyar Telekom were fined $63.9M, December 29, 2011, by the US DOJ for having bribed, between 2000 and 2006, public officials in Macedonia to the sum of $44M. Magyar Telekom was fined an additional $31.2M by the US SEC for prejudgment interest and disgorgements as well as to conclude a deferred prosecution agreement with the US DOJ.
December 22, 2011 – Oussama Naaman (Innospec)[DOJ] Innospec agent, Oussama Naaman, who has dual citizenship with Canada and Lebanon was convicted on December 22, 2011 to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay a $250,000 fine for his participation in a conspiracy to defraud the United Nations Oil for Food Programme and for bribing Iraqi officials on behalf of a publicly-traded US chemical company (Innospec) which had executive offices in the UK. The aim of the bribe was to secure sales of a chemical additive used in refining leaded fuel and to ensure that competitors’ products failed a field test.
November 22, 2011- Alstom
Alstom Network Schweiz Ag, a subsidiary of the French company Alstom, was convicted November 20, 2011 by a federal court in Switzerland and ordered to pay €2M in fines and €27M in disgorgement fees. The company was accused of bribing public officials in Tunisia, Malaysia and Lithuania from 2000 to 2006 through the use of shell companies and kickbacks and was found guilty of negligence. In its judgement the court considered that, after the facts, Alstom had reinforced its anti-corruption and compliance procedures significantly and that these reflected international best practices as attested to by the anti-corruption ETHIC Intelligence certificates awarded in 2009 and 2011.
December 20, 2011 – Aon[DOJ/SEC] Aon corporation and its subsidiary Aon Limited, both specialists in insurance brokering, were convicted December 20, 2011and ordered to pay $14.5M in disgorgement and prejudgment interest as well as a $1.76M criminal fine to the US DOJ for paying bribes between 1983 and 2007 to foreign public officials in various countries including Costa Rica, Egypt, Vietnam, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Aon entered into a non-prosecution agreement with the US DOJ.
October 25, 2011 – Joel Esquenazi/ Carlos Rodriguez – Terra Telecommunication[DOJ] The former president of Terra Telecommunication, Joel Esquanazi, was sentenced on October 25, 2011 by the US DOJ to 15 years in prison, the longest sentence ever imposed under the FCPA. Carlos Rodriguez, the former executive vice president, was sentenced to 84 months in prison .They were convicted of paying bribes to officials of the state-owned company “Haïti Teleco” through the utilization of shell companies.
October 13, 2011 – Watts Water[SEC] Watts Water’s subsidiary in China (CWV), manufacturer of valves for water quality, was sentenced on October 13, 2011 by the US SEC to pay $3.8M in disgorgement, prejudgment interest and civil penalties for paying bribes to employees of Chinese state-owned design institutes in order to persuade the design institutes to recommend CWV valve products to the state-owned customers. Leesen Chang, vice president of sales at Watts China, agreed to pay a civil penalty of $25,000.
September 15, 2011 – Bridgestone[DOJ] Bridgestone, a Tokyo based manufacturer and seller of rubber and industrial products, was sentenced on September 15, 2011 by the US DOJ to pay $28M for making illegal payments to foreign public officials in Latin America in order to secure sales of marine hoses. Bridgestone had already been convicted by the European Commission in January 2008 for having violated the Sherman Act.
September 8, 2011 – Jorge Granados – Latin Node, Inc (Latin Node)[DOJ] The former CEO of the US telecommunications company was sentenced to 46 months in prison on September 8, 2011 by the US DOJ. Jorge Granados was sentenced for bribing two former government officials in Honduras more than $500,000. He pleaded guilty on May 19, 2011 to the bribes which were aimed at securing business advantages for Latin Node from Honduras’s state-owned telecommunications company. In 2009, Latin Node agreed to pay a $2M fine.
July 28, 2011 – Diageo[SEC] Diageo, a maker of top liquor brands headquartered in London, UK, paid more than $16M on July 28, 2011 to settle FCPA charges. The company was convicted by the US SEC for bribing Indian, Thai and South-Korean officials through its subsidiaries. The investigation was launched after a customs fraud. Diageo disclosed the facts voluntarily.
June 24, 2011 – Niko Resources[Canadian courts] On June 24, 2011, Niko Resources, a Canadian natural gas company, was fined $cdn9,499,000 by a Canadian court for offering a car and travel expenses to a former Bangladeshi energy minister. This minister was in charge of overseeing the compensation claims of the victims of a gas explosion in Bangladesh in 2005. In January of that year, Niko drilling activities accidentally set off an explosion that blew up the ground leaving a baseball field-size crater and forced thousands to evacuate.
July 22, 2011 – Macmillan Publishers Limited[SFO] On July 22, 2011, Macmillan Publishers, an international publisher of books and newspapers based in London, agreed with the UK Serious Fraud Office to pay a fine of £11M in a civil recovery order issued for having made improper payments to officials in Africa in order to win book sales. The World Bank Group debarred Macmillan Limited declaring the company ineligible to be awarded Bank-financed contracts for a period of six years.
July 13, 2011 – Armor Holding[DOJ/SEC] Armor Holding, a US military equipment maker, agreed to pay on July 13,2011 $16M, ($5.7M by the US SEC in disgorgement and $10.3M by the US DOJ in criminal penalties) for bribing employees of the United Nations through the payment of commissions to intermediaries who brokered the sale of goods to foreign governments. In January 2010, federal authorities charged Richard Bistrong at Armor Holdings with paying bribes to U.N sources to secure insider information on two contracts.
May 17, 2011 – Tenaris[DOJ/SEC] Tenaris, a Luxembourg- based pipe maker, agreed on May 17, 2011 to a $9M settlement including $3.5M in criminal penalties to the US DOJ and 5.4M$ in disgorgement and prejudgment interest to the US SEC, for making corrupt payments to Uzbeki government officials in order to supply pipelines for transporting oil and gas. Tenaris is the first company to have concluded a deferred prosecution agreement with the SEC.
May 3, 2011 – Rockwell Automation Inc.[SEC] Rockwell Automation Inc., a global company based in Wisconsin which provides industrial automation products and services, settled an administrative proceeding with the US SEC on May 3, 2011 for bribes its Chinese subsidiary RAPS-China paid in China between 2003 and 2006. The company was convicted and ordered to pay $2.8M for the settlement including $2.4M in disgorgement and prejudgment interest as well as a civil penalty of $400,000.
April 8, 2011 – Johnson & Johnson[DOJ/SEC] Depuy, a UK medical-device maker and Johnson and Johnson subsidiary, was convicted on April 8, 2011 and fined $21.4M by the US DOJ and $48.6M in disgorgement and prejudgment interest to settle the US SEC’s civil charges. The company was convicted of bribing public-sector doctors in Greece. Johnson & Johnson concluded a deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ. On April 8, 2010, Depuy International Limited paid £4.8M for corruption charges brought by the UK Serious Fraud Office.
April 7, 2011 – Comverse Technology Inc.[DOJ/SEC] On April 7, 2011, New York based Comverse Technology Inc., a billing-services provider, paid $2.8M including a $1.2M criminal penalty with the US DOJ and a $1.6M disgorgement and prejudgment interest fine with the US SEC. Between 2003 and 2006 a subsidiary paid bribes of over $500,000 to individuals connected to OTE, a telecommunications provider, partially owned by the Greek government and based in Athens. Comverse Technologies received a two year non-prosecution agreement from the DOJ.
April 6, 2011 – JGC Corporation[DOJ] JGC Corporation, a Japan-based construction firm and the last of four TSKJ partners who together paid $1.8M in bribes to Nigerian officials, agreed, on April 6, 2011, to pay a US DOJ ordered sum of $218.8M. The TSKJ consortium won four contracts between 1995 and 2004 to build LNG facilities on Bonny Island. The negotiated settlement included a two-year deferred prosecution agreement.
March 24, 2011 – Ball Corporation[SEC] Ball Corporation, a manufacturer of metal packaging based in Colorado, paid, on March 24, 2011, a $300,000 penalty to the US SEC. The company was convicted of bribing in 2006 and 2007, through its Argentine subsidiary Formametal, employees of the Argentine government in order to allow Ball to import prohibited used machinery and to export raw materials at reduced tariffs. The president of the subsidiary had paid the bribe on behalf of Formametal out of his own funds and received reimbursement from Formametal in the form of a company car.
March 18, 2011 – IBM[SEC] IBM agreed, on March 18, 2011, to pay $20M to the US SEC. The company disgorged $5.3M and paid prejudgment interest of $2.7M and a $2M civil penalty to resolve civil charges brought by the US SEC for making improper cash payments to government officials in South Korea (1998-2003) and China (2004-2009) and for giving gifts and paying travel and entertainment expenses.
February 10, 2011 – Tyson Foods Inc.
[DOJ/SEC] Tyson Foods, producer of prepared food products based in Arkansas, agreed on February 10, 2011 to pay a $4M criminal penalty to the US DOJ and a $1.2M disgorgement and prejudgment interest fine to the US SEC for bribing government-employed inspection veterinarians in Mexico up to $100,000 between 2004 and 2006. The payments went directly to the veterinarians and to their wives who were listed on Tyson de Mexico’s payroll. Tyson Foods received a two-year deferred prosecution agreement with the US DOJ.
January 31, 2011 – Maxwell Technologies[DOJ/SEC] Maxwell Technologies, headquartered in California, agreed on January 31, 2011 to pay a $8M criminal penalty to the US DOJ and $6.3M in disgorgement and prejudgment interest to the US SEC for making illegal payments to Chinese government officials in order to ensure sales to state-owned manufacturers of electric-utility infrastructures in the country. A Maxwell executive approved sales contracts with the Chinese state-owned entities knowing that the purchase orders were inflated by 20% to cover the bribes.
January 25, 2011 – Antonio Perez
Antonio Perez, the controller of Terra Telecommunications, was sentenced on January 21, 2011 to two years in prison and ordered to forfeit $36,375 for bribing Haitian officials on behalf of US based telecommunications companies. He pleaded guilty in April 2009 to conspiring to make corrupt payments.
Tags : International anti-corruption case law, Magyar Telekom, Oussama Naaman, Innospec, Alstom, Aon, Terra Telecommunication, Watts Water, Bridgestone, Latin Node, Diageo, Niko Resources, Macmillan Publishers, Armor Holding, Tenaris, Rockwell Automation, Johnson & Johnson, Comverse Technology, JGC Corporation, Ball Corporation, IBM, Tyson Foods, Maxwell Technologies
Is your anti-corruption compliance program up to international best practices standards ?
Strengthen, benchmark and communicate positively on your program through certification.
Reach international standards. Get results.
Anti-corruption compliance questions ? comments ?Contact us!
Recent Decisions on the Extraterritorial Reach of US Criminal Laws
Frederick T Davis, Of Counsel, Debevoise & Plimptonread more
Alstom Awarded Certification for its Program to Prevent Corruptionread more
FCPA - Are your business practices in China a liability?read more
How can practical audit rights be negotiated with Third Parties?read more
Keep abreast of anti-corruption compliance news
Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter