New Indictment Ties Alstom, Marubeni Execs to Indonesia Bribes

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CN) — Expanding a case that has already netted settlements, guilty pleas and one conviction post-trial, U.S. prosecutors unsealed a superseding indictment against a trio of international executives said to have overseen the bribery of Indonesian officials.

Dated nearly five years ago to the day, the 2015 indictment made public Tuesday in Connecticut takes aim at Reza Moenaf, 63, the former president of Alstom S.A.’s subsidiary in Indonesia; Eko Sulianto, 63, the former director of sales of Alstom’s subsidiary in Indonesia; and Junji Kusunoki, 57, the former deputy general manager of Marubeni’s Overseas Power Project Department.

In addition to power-generation services, the French company Alstom makes locomotives such as the TGV high-speed train pictured here in 2018 at the Saint-Charles station, Marseille. (AP Photo/Claude Paris, file)

Prosecutors say these men paid bribes to officials in Indonesia — including, among others, a high-ranking member of the Indonesian Parliament and the president of Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), the state-owned and state-controlled electricity company in Indonesia — in exchange for assistance in securing a $118 million contract known as the Tarahan project for Alstom’s subsidiaries in Connecticut and Indonesia, and for Marubeni to provide power-related services for the citizens of Indonesia.

While Marubeni is a Japanese trading company, France-based Alstom provides services related to power generation and transportation. Their representatives did not return a request for comment.

Prosecutors say Moenaf, Sulianto and Kusunoki arranged the bribes through two individuals hired as consultants.

In the fall of 2003, the defendants and their co-conspirators allegedly determined that the first consultant was not effectively bribing key officials at Indonesia’s state-owned and state-controlled electricity company, Perusahaan Listrik Negara.

One email between Moenaf, Sulianto and their co-conspirators said officials at PLN were “concern[ed] that if we have won the job, whether their rewards will still be satisfactory or this agent only give them pocket money and disappear,” as quoted in the indictment.

In another email, Moenaf asserted that the consultant “has no grip on the PLN Tender team at all,” and “is more or less similar to [a] cashier which I feel we pay too much.”

As a result, the co-conspirators allegedly retained a second consultant to more effectively bribe PLN officials. Prosecutors say the effort to secure the Tarahan project was successful, and that the consultants received payments for the alleged purpose of bribing the Indonesian officials.

The charges against Moenaf, Sulianto, and Kusunoki are part of a wide-ranging investigation into alleged corrupt practices by employees of Alstom and Marubeni.

In 2014, Alstom and Marubeni reached separate settlements with the U.S. Justice Department to resolve allegations centered on the Indonesian project. Alstom paid $772 million to resolve the alleged violations of the FCPA, short for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Marubeni paid $88 million.

The Justice Department previously charged six other individuals as part of its investigation into the scheme.

While five pleaded guilty, but former Alstom senior vice president Lawrence Hoskins went to trial in New Haven. The case resulted in a jury conviction this past November. Hoskins has disputed the jury’s finding.

The FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office is investigating the case with assistance from the FBI in Meriden, Connecticut.

In addition to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the new indictment alleges money laundering and conspiracy charges.

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