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In A Case That Keeps On Giving, The DOJ Announces Unsealing Of 2015 Indictment Against Former Alstom And Marubeni Executives

In mid-2013, the DOJ announced that various current and former of Alstom resolved a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action in connection with the Tarahan power project in Indonesia. The underlying charging documents were from 2012. (See here [1]). Thereafter, in 2013 additional individuals associated with Alstom were also charged (see here [2] and here [3]) including Lawrence Hoskins who was found guilty at trial in 2019. (See here [4]).

In early-2014, Marubeni (a consortium partner of Alstom on the Tarahan project) resolved an FCPA enforcement action. (See here [5] and here [6]). In late 2014, Alstom resolved an FCPA enforcement action regarding alleged conduct around the world including in Indonesia in connection Tarahan power contract. (See here [7] and here [8]).

Yesterday, the DOJ announced [9] the unsealing of this 2015 indictment [10] charging Reza Moenaf (the former president of Alstom’s subsidiary in Indonesia), Eko Sulianto (the former director of sales of Alstom’s subsidiary in Indonesia) and Junji Kusunoki (the former deputy general manager of Marubeni’s Overseas Power Project Department) with conspiracy to violate the FCPA and conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with the same core allegations found in the previous enforcement actions.

According to the DOJ:

“[T]he defendants, together with others, paid bribes to officials in Indonesia – including, among others, a high-ranking member of the Indonesian Parliament and the president of Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), the state-owned and state-controlled electricity company in Indonesia – in exchange for assistance in securing a $118 million contract, known as the Tarahan project, for Alstom’s subsidiaries in Connecticut and Indonesia and for Marubeni to provide power-related services for the citizens of Indonesia.  To conceal the bribes, the defendants allegedly retained two so-called “consultants” purportedly to provide legitimate consulting services on behalf of the power company and its subsidiaries in connection with the Tarahan project.  The indictment, however, alleges that the primary purpose for hiring the consultants was to use the consultants to pay bribes to Indonesian officials.”

The indictment references several 2002 – 2006 e-mails and other communications between the defendants and those previously charged in connection with the bribery scheme. In addition, the indictment alleges that “as a result of an agreement reached between co-conspirators [and a consultant] Alstom Power US in Windsor, CT caused” wire transfers from the company’s bank account in New York to the consultant’s bank account in Maryland in connection with the bribery schemes.

[11]

The indictment also alleges that “as a result of an agreement reached between co-conspirators [and a consultant] Marubeni caused” wire transfers from its bank account in New York to the consultant’s bank account in Maryland in connection with the bribery schemes. According to the indictment, other payments were made from Alstom Power U.S’s New York Bank account to another consultant’s bank account in Switzerland in connection with the bribery schemes.

Similar to the disputed issue in the Hoskins matter, Moenaf, Sulianto, and Kusunoki are described as agents of a “domestic concern” (Alstom Power US) and the indictment invokes 78dd-2 of the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions. In other portions, the indictment invokes 78dd-3 of the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions.

Should the defendants contest the DOJ’s charges, jurisdictional, agency and statute of limitations issues are likely to be disputed.

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