Saturday, September 30, 2023
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Alstom Fined $722M |for Bribery Scheme

(CN) - A federal judge fined French energy and transportation conglomerate Alstom $722 million on Friday for bribing officials in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the Bahamas and elsewhere in order to secure lucrative state-backed contracts.

The fined handed down by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton of the Connecticut federal court is the largest ever levied by the U.S. in connection with a foreign bribery case. It comes after Alstom pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

According to prosecutors, "Alstom paid more than $75 million to secure more than $4 billion in projects around the world, with a profit of approximately $300 million."

Alstom and its subsidiaries also attempted to conceal the bribery scheme by retaining consultants who purportedly provided consulting services on behalf of the companies, but who actually served as conduits for corrupt payments to the government officials, the Justice Department said.

Internal Alstom documents refer to some of the consultants in code, including "Mr. Geneva," "Mr. Paris," "London," "Quiet Man" and "Old Friend."

The agency said the large fine is warranted because Alstom refused to cooperate with investigators for several years. In a statement, it explained the company only began to cooperate after five of its executives were charged in relation to the scheme.

Four of those executives have since pleaded guilty. A fifth is scheduled to be tried next year.

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