June 13, 2021

French company fined US$772 million to resolve Bahamas and other bribery charges

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Alstom-building-640x341NEW HAVEN, USA (BERNAMA-NNN-CARIBBEAN NEWS)– Alstom SA, a French power and transportation company, was sentenced last November in US District Court in Connecticut to pay a US$772 million fine to resolve criminal charges related to a widespread corruption scheme involving at least $75 million in secret bribes paid to government officials in countries around the world, including The Bahamas.

Alstom pleaded guilty on December 22, 2014, to a two-count criminal information charging the company with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by falsifying its books and records and failing to implement adequate internal controls.

According to the company’s admissions, Alstom, 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 The Bahamas.

In total, Alstom paid more than US$75 million to secure more than $4 billion in projects around the world, with a profit to the company of approximately US$300 million.

Alstom and its subsidiaries also attempted to conceal the bribery scheme by retaining consultants who purportedly provided consulting services on behalf of the companies, but who actually served as conduits for corrupt payments to the government officials.

The sentence, which is the largest criminal fine ever imposed in an FCPA case, reflects a number of factors, including: Alstom’s failure to voluntarily disclose the misconduct, even though it was aware of related misconduct at a US subsidiary; Alstom’s refusal to fully cooperate with the department’s investigation for several years; the breadth of the companies’ misconduct, which spanned many years, occurred in countries around the globe and in several business lines, and involved sophisticated schemes to bribe high-level government officials; Alstom’s lack of an effective compliance and ethics program at the time of the conduct; and Alstom’s prior criminal misconduct, including conduct that led to resolutions with various other governments and the World Bank.

Last October, former Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) board member and insurance executive Freddie Ramsey, 78, was charged with four counts of conspiracy to commit bribery and 14 counts of bribery, stemming from the Alstom indictment.


For more on this story go to: http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v8/wn/newsworld.php?id=1189920

IMAGE: www.theallineed.com

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