French power and transportation company, Alstom S.A. (Alstom), has agreed to pay a $772,290,000 fine to resolve charges relating to tens of millions of dollars in bribes in countries around the world, including Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Bahamas. According to the companies’ admissions, Alstom, Alstom Prom, Alstom Power and Alstom Grid, through various executives and employees, paid bribes to government officials and falsified books and records in connection with power, grid and transportation projects for state-owned entities around the world, including in Indonesia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Bahamas and Taiwan. In total, Alstom paid more than $75 million to secure $4 billion in projects around the world, with a profit to the company of approximately $300 million.
Alstom pleaded guilty to a two-count criminal information filed Dec. 22, 2014 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, charging the company with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by falsifying its books and records and failing to implement adequate internal controls. Alstom admitted its criminal conduct and agreed to pay a $772 million criminal penalty. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for June 23, 2015.
Alstom and its subsidiaries also attempted to conceal the bribery scheme by retaining consultants purportedly to provide consulting services on behalf of the companies, but who actually served as conduits for corrupt payments to the government officials. Internal Alstom documents refer to some of the consultants in code, including “Mr. Geneva,” “Mr. Paris,” “London,” “Quiet Man” and “Old Friend.”
Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers including whistleblowers living outside the United States with information about foreign bribes. The False Claims Act gives anyone with original information the right to file an action on behalf of the United States Government and may be entitled to a percentage of what is collected.