SoCal Company Admits Bribing Chinese

SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) – A Southern California company that makes parts for nuclear and oil-fired power plants must pay $18.2 million after pleading guilty to paying more than 200 bribes to officials in China and at least 30 other countries. Control Components admitted it paid the bribes for a decade to win contracts.

     Control Components designs and makes control valves. It pleaded guilty to federal charges of paying bribes from 1998 to 2007 to officials of state-owned and privately owned companies around the world, including China, South Korea, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.
     The company entered a plea agreement late last week, admitting it bribed foreigners to bring in net profits of over $46 million over the past 5 years.
     From 2003 to 2007, the company paid $4.9 million in bribes to officials of foreign state-owned companies in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and $1.95 million to employees of foreign and domestic privately owned companies, in violation of the Travel Act, federal prosecutors said.
     Justice Department spokesman Ian McCaleb declined to comment on how or whether enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act affects America’s ability to compete in the world. McCaleb said “it is not the sort of question we answer,” and that any response he could give would be “speculative.”
     This foreign bribery bust has been one of a series over recent months that may be the result of stricter oversight from the Obama administration and a more concentrated effort by the Department of Justice and the SEC to monitor U.S. business practices abroad.
     Late last week, Courthouse News reported on label maker Avery Dennison’s settlement with the SEC following accusations that the company’s subsidiaries were bribing Chinese officials to gain clientele.
     According to Control Components’ plea, the company bribed officials at state-owned companies including Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corp., Guohua Electric Power, China Petroleum Materials and Equipment Corp., PetroChina, Dongfang Electric Corp., China National Offshore Oil Corp., all of Chine, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power, Petronas (of Malaysia) and National Petroleum Construction Company (of the United Arab Emirates).

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