As highlighted in this prior post, in 2021 Frederick Cushmore Jr. (a former executive of Pennsylvania-based coal mining company Corsa Coal Corp.) was criminally charged and pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions in connection with a bribery scheme in Egypt involving Al Nasr Company for Coke and Chemicals (“Al Nasr” or “NCCC” – an alleged Egyptian state-owned and state-controlled entity and a subsidiary of Metallurgical Industries Holding Company, which was owned and controlled by the Egyptian government).
Today, the DOJ announced that Charles Hunter Hobson (pictured) was also criminally charged in connection with the same core conduct. According to his LinkedIn page, Hobson served in a variety of roles at Corsa Coal from 2013 to 2018. (See also here).
As alleged in this indictment, Hobson conspired with Cushmore, Co-Conspirator A (an Egyptian national who controlled and operated a business entity in Egypt), and others by making corrupt bribe payments to Foreign Official A (an Egyptian national and a high-level executive at Al Nasr) and other Egyptian government officials, through Co-Conspirator A and his company to obtain and retain lucrative contracts, and other business advantages (such as inside, non-public information about Corsa’s competitors’ bids to sell coal to Al Nasr), from Al Nasr.
Similar to the previous Cushmore enforcement action, the Hobson indictment alleges that approximately $4.8 million in commissions were paid to Co-Conspirator A in connection with Corsa’s sale of coal to Al Nasr, a portion of which was used to pay bribes to foreign officials at Al Nasr, including Foreign Official A. Likewise, the Hobson indictment alleges that Hobson and others used encrypted messaging services – including WhatsApp – as well as personal e-mail accounts to connection with the alleged bribery scheme.
As stated in the DOJ release:
“The indictment also alleges that Hobson conspired to secretly receive a portion of the commissions paid to the sales intermediary as kickbacks.
Hobson is charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA, two counts of violating the FCPA, one count of conspiracy to launder money, two counts of money laundering, and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.”