Alstom executives charged with bribery

The US Department of Justice has launched criminal proceedings against two Alstom (Euronext: ALO) executives, charging them with alleged bribery.

The FT reports that one current and one former executive of the French engineering group, were charged by US authorities with allegedly bribing Indonesian officials to win power contracts.

French national Frederic Pierucci was arrested on Sunday night at JFK airport in New York and charged with conspiracy, money laundering and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits bribing of foreign officials to win business.

US authorities also announced the unsealing of a guilty plea by David Rothschild, a former vice-president of sales for Alstom’s US subsidiary in Connecticut, to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA.

The criminal charges against the individuals are the first by the Department of Justice and indicate an expansion of legal issues facing the group.

Previously Alstom has faced investigation by the US, UK’s Serious Fraud Office and French authorities. In 2011, it paid $40m to Switzerland’s attorney-general for negligently failing to stop bribery by some employees involving contracts in Latvia, Malaysia and Tunisia, in what was the most significant ruling in the international criminal probe.

The pair have been charged with bribing a member of the Indonesian Parliament and senior executives of Perusahaan Listrik Negara, the state-owned electricity company, to win a lucrative contract to provide power, called the Tarahan project.

Court filings did not identify Alstom as the employer; however Alstom was awarded the Tarahan contract. Mr Pierucci is listed on Alstom’s website as an employee.

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