No company with an international presence is safe from regulator scrutiny

January 16, 2015 by Rebecca Gillingham

french flagAlstom receives record breaking $780M FCPA fine

The French engineering business 'Alstom', who make trains and equipment for power and energy industries, was hit with a huge fine by US authorities to settle allegations of bribes to win contracts in countries including; Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The fine was paid after they pleaded guilty to violating internal controls and record-keeping regulations. Alstom had paid $75m in bribes around the world through a corruption scheme that was sustained over more than a decade across several continents. Alstom's chief executive, Patrick Kron said "There were a number of problems in the past and we deeply regret that. However, this resolution allows Alstom to put the issue behind us and continue our efforts to ensure that business is conducted in a responsible way, consistent with the highest ethical standards."
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canadian flagCanada signals intent to clamp down on corporate bribery overseas

The RCMP says that they are cracking down on foreign bribery cases and that in future, more cases will lead to jail time for individuals involved rather than just fines for companies. Last May, Air India briber plotter Nazir Karigar was sentenced to three years in prison in a bid to win a $100m contract. However, Karigar was charged under the older 'Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act' which has a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The amended Act has a maximum penalty of 14 years, the second-highest level of sentencing in the Criminal Code. Sergeant Patrick Poitevin of the RCMP stated "We are investigating not just the companies, but the individuals that paid the fine."
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brazilian flagBrazil puts anti-corruption top of the list for action

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff vowed to tackle corruption head on by punishing anyone involved in corrupt deals as she started her second term last Thursday. At the ceremony she stated "we are going to vigorously investigate everything that has happened" after her administration was embroiled in a multimillion dollar graft scandal at state-owned oil giant Petrobras. The Petrobras scandal or "Operation Car Wash" erupted a few months before her election in October and is still an ongoing police investigation. They are facing legal action in the US over investor losses from the scandal.
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usa flagUS kicks off 2015 with early FCPA action and warning

Dmitrij Harder, the former owner and President of Pennsylvania Consulting Companies "Chestnut Group" has been charged with foreign bribery. Assistant Attorney General Caldwell stated "As alleged, in this case, the owner and chief executive of a Pennsylvania financial consulting firm secured hundreds of millions of dollars in business by bribing a European banking official. He now faces an indictment for corruption in federal court. The charges returned today reflect the clear message that we will root out corruption and prosecute individuals who violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act." According to the allegations, Harder and others paid bribes to the senior officials at the EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) in exchange for influencing the official's actions on applications for financing submitted by the Chestnut Group's clients.
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