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Wednesday, June 12, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

OC Execs Charged With Bribery of Chinese

(CN) - Six former top executives of an Orange County, California based manufacturer of valves used in the nuclear power industry have been charegd with with bribing officials of foreign and state owned companies in an effort to secure contracts that brought over $46 million in profits.

The charges were announced late last week by U.S. Attorney Tom O'Brian in Los Angeles. The six people charged are Stuart Carson, 70, of San Clemente, former CEO of the company; Hong (Rose) Carson, 45, also of San Clemente, former director of sales for China and Taiwan; Paul Cosgrove, 61, of Laguna Niguel, former director of worldwide sales; David Edmonds, 56, of San Clemente, former vice president of worldwide customer service; Flavio Ricotti, 47, of Italy, former vice president and head of sales for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East; and Han Yong Kim, 47, of Korea, former president of the company's Korean office.

The alleged corrupt payments were made entities including Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corp. (China), Guohua Electric Power (China), China Petroleum Materials and Equipment Corp., PetroChina, Dongfang Electric Corporation (China), China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power, Petronas (Malaysia), and National Petroleum Construction Company (United Arab Emirates).

According to the indictment, the executives were allegedly involved from 1998 through 2007 in a bribe conspiracy to secure contracts by paying bribes to officials of foreign-state owned companies and foreign and domestic private companies. The defendants caused the valve company to pay over $6 million in bribes. The indictment further alleges that the executives caused the company to make 236 corrupt payments in more than 30 countries resulting in over $46 million in profits.

In related cases, on January 8, 2009, Mario Covino, former director of worldwide factory sales for the valve company, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to bribe and admitted to causing a payment of approximately $1 million in bribes to officers and employees of several foreign state-owned companies. On February 3, 2009, Richard Morlok, former finance director, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy and admitted to causing a payment of approximately $628,000 in bribes.

Sentencing for both Covino and Morlok is scheduled for July 20. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Chief Hank Bond Walther, and attorneys Andrew Gentin and Douglas McCormick.

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