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These Are Interesting Times

The Daimler deferred prosecution agreement has trickled out (see here).

Attachment D of the DPA concerns the Independent Corporate Monitor and states “in consultation with the Department, Daimler has proposed and the Department has approved Louis J. Freeh to serve as the Monitor.”

Louis J. Freeh (here) is the Former Director of the FBI (1993-2001). He currently is a principal of Freeh Group International (see here). Other principals in the Freeh Group include Stanley Sporkin, an individual who has held various positions during his distinguished career including Director of Enforcement at the SEC, and General Counsel to the CIA.

Freeh represented Saudi Prince Bandar, an individual at the center of the DOJ’s bribery, yet no bribery enforcement action against BAE. (See here for an extended PBS Frontline interview of Freeh).

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Stay tuned for an extensive post “Dissecting Daimler.” The amount of material in this case is now up 228 pages!

SFO Providing Real Time Disclosure in ALSTOM Investigation

For a government agency that has stated in the past that it prefers not to investigate bribery and corruption cases (see here), and for a government agency that has received mounds of criticism in connection with its bungled BAE enforcement action, the U.K. Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) would seem to be running a public relations campaign of late.

In this release from today, the SFO states, in connection with ALSTOM investigation (see here) that:

“The Serious Fraud Office search operation runs into its second day. Following yesterday’s multi-location search operation and arrests relating to ALSTOM in the UK, the SFO made operational decisions to extend searches today at ALSTOM properties in Rugby and Ashby de la Zouch. Today’s operation involved over 50 personnel including officers from the Warwickshire and Leicestershire Police forces.”

These Are Interesting Times

The Daimler deferred prosecution agreement has trickled out (see here).

Attachment D of the DPA concerns the Independent Corporate Monitor and states “in consultation with the Department, Daimler has proposed and the Department has approved Louis J. Freeh to serve as the Monitor.”

Louis J. Freeh (here) is the Former Director of the FBI (1993-2001). He currently is a principal of Freeh Group International (see here). Other principals in the Freeh Group include Stanley Sporkin, an individual who has held various positions during his distinguished career including Director of Enforcement at the SEC, and General Counsel to the CIA.

Freeh represented Saudi Prince Bandar, an individual at the center of the DOJ’s bribery, yet no bribery enforcement action against BAE. (See here for an extended PBS Frontline interview of Freeh).

*****

Stay tuned for an extensive post “Dissecting Daimler.” The amount of material in this case is now up 228 pages!

SFO Given Green Light to Complete Plea Agreement With BAE

An additional development from the U.K. to report. A previous post (see here) discussed the efforts of Corner House Research and Campaign Against Arms Trade, two British non-profits, to derail the SFO’s plea agreement with BAE.

Earlier this month, a U.K. High Court prohibited the SFO “from taking any steps in its prosecution of BAE” “until the determination of the application for permission to apply for judicial review or further order.”

As is being reported today, the permission to apply for judicial review has been refused. In a two-page order, the judge wrote that: “it is only in the most exceptional case that the court will think it right to interfere with a prosecutorial decision such as this;” that the SFO “applied the guidelines … properly” and that the SFO’s decision to resolve the matter in the way it did was not “unlawful.”

According to this release, Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade “are taking legal advice on whether or not to appeal the decision.”

A spokesperson for one of the groups said that “we are obviously disappointed by the Judge’s decision to refuse permission,” and that the ruling “implies that the law allows a giant company to pay a small financial penalty for ‘accounting irregularities’ rather than be charged and tried in open court on more serious criminal charges.” According to media report, a BAE spokesperson said that this recent decision is “a matter between the two campaign groups and the SFO.”

In a related development (see here), Austrian prosecutors are reportedly continuing to investigate BAE’s agent Alfons Mensdorff-Pouilly. (See here for a prior post).

ALSTOM – Corruption Investigation Enters the Boardroom

The U.K. Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) issued this release today which states that “[t]hree members of the Board of ALSTOM in the UK have been arrested on suspicion of bribery and corruption, conspiracy to pay bribes, money laundering and false accounting, and have been taken to police stations to be interviewed by the Serious Fraud Office.”

According to the release, search warrants were executed at five ALSTOM businesses premises and four residential addresses. The operation, involving “109 SFO staff and 44 police officers” is code-named “Operation Ruthenium” and centers on “suspected payment of bribes by companies within the ALSTOM group in the U.K.” According to the release, “[i]t is suspected that bribes have been paid in order to win contracts overseas.”

SFO Director Richard Alderman, in a very DOJ-like statement, noted that “[t]he SFO is committed to tackling corruption” (presumably so long as it does not involve BAE) and that the SFO is “working closely with other criminal justice organizations across the world” and is “taking steps to encourage companies to report any suspicions of corruption, either within their own business or by other companies or individuals.”

ALSTOM (see here) “is a global leader in power generation and rail infrastructure.” One of the company’s major competitors is Siemens. ALSTOM’s shares are listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.

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