Department of Justice announces historic USD $772 million fine over FCPA violations

In late 2014, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) fined Alstom, a French power and transportation titan, USD $772 million for multimillion dollar bribes the company paid to government officials worldwide.

The bribes helped Alstom secure lucrative energy contracts worth billions of dollars in countries including Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the Bahamas and Taiwan.

Alstom admitted to charges brought under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It confessed to falsifying its books and business records and failing to implement adequate internal controls to monitor and prevent corruption conduct.

In brokering a plea agreement, the Justice Department factored in Alstom’s reluctance to disclose its misconduct, its refusal to cooperate, the breadth of its misconduct, the company’s prior criminal misconduct and its lack of an effective compliance and ethics program. Several senior individuals within the company have also had charges brought against them.

DOJ Attorney General James Cole said the historic fine sent an “unmistakable message to other companies around the world: that this Department of Justice will be relentless in rooting out and punishing corruption to the fullest extent of the law, no matter how sweeping its scale or how daunting its prosecution.”

The substantial penalties and preceding criminal investigation brought by the DOJ demonstrate the broad scope of American anti-bribery and corruption legislation.

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Source: Compliance Week