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Aircraft Firm Pays $14 Million for Bribes

DALLAS (CN) - Aircraft engine maintenance firm Dallas Airmotive will pay $14 million in criminal penalties to settle claims it bribed South American officials to get government contracts, federal prosecutors said.

The Grapevine, Texas-based company will admit it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act under a deferred prosecution agreement. It was charged with conspiracy and violating the FCPA, in a criminal information filed Wednesday in Federal Court.

"Between 2008 and 2012, the company bribed officials of the Brazilian Air Force, the Peruvian Air Force, the Office of the Governor of the Brazilian State of Roraima, and the Office of the Governor of the San Juan Province in Argentina," prosecutors said in a statement.

It paid the bribes through front companies, to bagmen, and by "directly providing things of value, such as paid vacations, to foreign officials," prosecutors said.

In one case, it wired $35,000 from New York to Rio de Janeiro for two Brazilian officials to help get a maintenance contract, according to the information.

Dallas Airmotive said Thursday the Department of Justice has acknowledged its "substantial cooperation" with the investigation.

Dallas Airmotive said in a statement Thursday that it "regrets" that its "standards were breached by a limited number of third-party agents and employees of Dallas Airmotive's business in South America. ... These individuals are no longer with the company."

Dallas Airmotive is a subsidiary of BBA Aviation and provides turbine engine repair, overhaul and support services to 80 percent of the engines used in the business and general aviation market, according to its website.

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