Shigeru Echigo, a former salesman at Deutsche Bank in Tokyo, has admitted to bribery charges, but he says he was only following orders from his superiors.
In Tokyo District Court, Echigo said he bribed a pension fund executive to keep the executive buying the bank’s investment products. Echigo spent $8,776 entertaining the client on 15 occasions from April to September 2012, prosecutors said.
In court, Echigo said the behavior was sanctioned and widespread at the German bank’s brokerage unit in Japan.
“My actions as a salesman were part of systematic conduct based on the instructions and consent of my bosses at Deutsche Securities,” Echigo told the court.
The executive who accepted the bribes from Echigo, Mitsui & Co. employee Yutaka Tsurisawa, was convicted in the same court a month earlier. He was given a suspended 18-month prison sentence and ordered to pay the bribe amount back.
Deutsche Securities Inc. cut the pay of several top officials in Japan after Tsurisawa was convicted.
The payments from Echigo to Tsurisawa were a breach of Japanese bribery law because the money Tsurisawa oversaw were pensions that included public funds. That made Tsurisawa a civil servant under the law.
Echigo could face up to three years in jail and a $25,000 fine.
The next hearing is scheduled for June 17.
Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.