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Harry Cassin
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Thomas Fox
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Dmitrij Harder jailed five years for FCPA offenses

The Pennsylvania-based consultant who bribed an officer at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was sentenced in 60 months in prison Tuesday for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Dmitrij Harder, 42, a Russian national living in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in 2016 to two counts of violating the FCPA.

Harder, a U.S. legal permanent resident, owned Chestnut Consulting Group.

He appeared Tuesday in federal court in Philadelphia.

Judge Paul Diamond also ordered him to forfeit $1.9 million.

In 2008 and 2009, Harder paid $3.5 million in bribes to Andrej Ryjenko, an official and senior banker at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Harder paid the bribes through Channel Islands bank accounts held by Ryjenko’s sister, Tatjana Sanderson. 

In June this year, a UK court sentenced Ryjenko to six years in prison.

Ryjenko, 44, a dual UK and Russian citizen, was convicted by a jury at London’s Old Bailey of a bribery conspiracy and money laundering.

At the London-based EBRD, Ryjenko reviewed applications for loans and investments submitted by Eastern European oil, gas, and mining firms.

Between July 2008 and November 2009, he agreed to take 50 percent of the commissions Harder would earn when the loans were approved.

One of Chestnut’s clients won approval for an EBRD investment of $85 million and a €90 million ($100 million) loan.

Another client secured a $40 million EBRD investment and a $60 million convertible loan.

Harder and Chestnut earned about $8 million in “success fees” from the EBRD’s approval of the two applications.

In the FCPA, the term “foreign official” means any officer or employee of a foreign government or any department, agency, or instrumentality thereof, or of a public international organization . . . ” (15 U.S.C. § 78dd-2(h)(2)(A))

The DOJ said the EBRD was a public international organization and Ryjenko was a “foreign official.” Harder argued the point in court but lost a motion to dismiss.

In the UK, the Crown Prosecution Service charged Ryjenko and his sister in 2012. She was later declared unfit to stand trial.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.

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