The Justice Department said Philadelphia-based export company Nexus Technologies Inc. and three employees pleaded guilty today to bribing Vietnamese officials.
Nexus pleaded guilty to conspiracy, and to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and the Travel Act in connection with commercial bribes and money laundering. Nam Nguyen, 54, of Houston and Vietnam, the president and owner of Nexus, and sibling An Nguyen, 34, of Philadelphia, each pleaded guilty to conspiracy, a substantive FCPA violation, a violation of the Travel Act, and money laundering. Kim Nguyen, 41, another sibling, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, a substantive FCPA violation, and money laundering.
They were arrested in September 2008, along with Joseph T. Lukas, 60, a partner in Nexus until 2005. He pleaded guilty in June 2009 to conspiracy and to violating the FCPA. The DOJ said he admitted in his plea that from 1999 to 2005, he and others at Nexus bribed Vietnamese officials in exchange for contracts with the officials’ agencies. The bribes were falsely described in the company’s books as “commissions.”
Lukas now faces up to 10 years in prison and a possible $350,000 fine. His sentencing is scheduled for April 6, 2010.
Nexus and the Nguyens admitted that from 1999 to 2008 they paid bribes of more than $250,000 to Vietnamese government officials in exchange for contracts. Nexus sold third-party underwater mapping and bomb containment equipment, helicopter parts, chemical detectors, satellite communication parts and air tracking systems.
The DOJ said Nexus acknowledged as part of its guilty plea that “it operated primarily through criminal means and agreed to cease operations.”
Sentencing is scheduled for July 13, 2010. Nexus still faces a maximum fine of $27 million. Nam and An Nguyen each face a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison. Kim Nguyen faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
The government hasn’t released the plea agreements for Nexus and the Nguyens; the plea agreement in U.S. v. Lukas remains under court seal.
A copy of the Justice Department’s March 16, 2010 release can be viewed here.
Download a copy of the October 29, 2009 superseding indictment in U.S. v. Nexus Technologies, Inc. et al here.