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$17.1 Million Penalty to Settle Charges of Bribery of Foreign Officials

Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Justice reports that a New Jersey construction management company has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and agreed to pay a $17.1 million penalty to resolve an investigation into whether it conspired to bribe officials in India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Kuwait to secure government construction management contracts. Two of the company’s former executives have also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for their involvement in this scheme.

According to Justice, from 1998 through 2010 the company and its employees orchestrated $3.9 million in bribe payments to foreign officials in various countries in order to secure government contracts. To conceal the payments, the co-conspirators made payments under the guise of “commitment fees,” “counterpart per diems” and other payments to third-party vendors. In reality, the payments were intended to fund bribes to foreign officials who had awarded contracts to the company or who supervised the company’s work on contracts.

Among other factors, in entering into a DPA in this case the government considered the company’s (1) self-reporting of the misconduct; (2) cooperation, including voluntarily making both U.S. and foreign employees available for interviews and collecting, analyzing and organizing evidence and information for federal investigators; (3) extensive remediation, including terminating the officers and employees responsible for the corrupt payments; and (4) demonstrated commitment to improving its compliance program and internal controls.

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