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Foreign Enforcement Notes: Ferrostaal and Alstom

Miller and Chevalier’s FCPA Winter Review 2012 (here) noted a couple of significant enforcement actions in Europe in late 2011.

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A regional court in Munich imposed a €140 million fine on Ferrostaal AG. Two former company managers — Johann-Friedrich Ha and Hans-Dieter Mue, were convicted of bribery in December. Ha was fined €36,000 and required to pay an additional €30,000 to charities. Mue was fined €18,000 and required to pay an additional €22,000 to charities. Both received suspended prison terms of two years.

The charges were based on suspected bribery in the sale of submarines to Greece and Portugal, and in the construction of a compressor station in Turkmenistan. Ferrostaal’s press release indicated that the court deemed the company to have insufficient internal controls to prevent the corrupt activities by its former managers.

The FCPA Winter Review described how the bribery scandal contributed to a drop of over $500 million in Ferrostaal’s sale value.

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In Switzerland, the attorney general announced a summary punishment order against Alstom Network Schweiz AG, a unit of Paris-based Alstom SA, assessing a total penalty of 38.9 million Swiss francs (approximately $41.3 million). After a two year investigation covering fifteen countries, the Swiss authorities in November charged Alstom with corporate negligence, stating that the company “did not take all necessary and reasonable organizational precautions to prevent bribery of foreign public officials in Latvia, Tunisia, and Malaysia.”

Consultants engaged by Alstom allegedly forwarded a significant portion of their success fees to foreign officials to influence the award of state contracts to Alstom.

U.K., U.S., French, and Brazilian authorities are also reportedly investigating bribery allegations involving Alstom.

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Miller & Chevalier’s FCPA Winter Review 2012 was published on January 6, 2012.

The content of this post appears courtesy of Miller & Chevalier and the firm’s FCPA & International Anti-Corruption practice.

Miller & Chevalier is a premium-listed United States firm in the FCPA Database law firm directory.

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