Ex-Exec Pleads Guilty to Bribing British Defense Officials with $300K for Contracts

     (CN)- A former executive of Pacific Consolidated Industries pleaded guilty to bribing a British Ministry of Defense official with $300,000 in exchange for a Royal Air Force contract with his company, the U.S. Justice Department announced.

     Leo Winston Smith, Pacific’s former sales and marketing director, violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act when he bribed a UK Ministry of Defense official in exchange for a “lucrative” contract with the Royal Air Force.
     In his plea agreement in the Federal Court in Santa Ana, Calif., Smith admitted to creating a fake marketing agreement between his Southern California-based company and a relative of a Ministry of Defense official.
     The unnamed Defense official pleaded guilty in the United Kingdom and was sentenced to two years in prison.
     Smith negotiated contracts with clients and sold oxygen and nitrogen generators to defense departments worldwide.
     In addition to the bribery plea, Smith also admitted to under-reporting income on his 2003 taxes, and failing to file a return for his company, Design Smith Inc., that year.
     Smith faces up to eight years in prison. An evidentiary hearing and sentencing are set for December.
     Smith’s business partner, Martin Self, was sentenced last November for his role in the alleged bribery. He is on probation for two years.

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