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UK convicts former Alstom exec for Lithuania power plant bribes

Former Alstom executive Nicholas Reynolds was found guilty Wednesday in a UK court for his role in bribing Lithuanian officials for power station contracts. 

Reynolds, 53, a UK citizen, was the global sales director for Alstom Power Ltd’s boiler retrofits unit. 

He was convicted in the Blackfriars Crown Court in London of conspiracy to bribe officials in a Lithuanian power station and senior Lithuanian politicians in order to win two contracts worth $274 million to perform upgrades, the SFO said

Alstom companies paid more than $5.7 million in bribes to secure the contracts.

According to the SFO, Reynolds and his co-conspirators “falsified records to avoid checks in place to prevent bribery.”

Alstom Network UK Ltd along with Michael Anderson, Terence Watson, and Jean-Daniel Lainé were acquitted of a charge in a linked investigation into alleged corruption relating to a Budapest Metro rolling stock contract, the SFO said.

Earlier this year, former Alstom executives John Venskus and Göran Wikström were sentenced to three years and six months and two years and seven months in prison respectively for their roles in the scheme.

SFO Director Lisa Osofsky said Wednesday, “The culture of corruption evident within the Alstom Group was widespread. Their illicit activities to win lucrative contracts were calculated and sustained, undermining legitimate business and public trust.”

In 2016, a UK court ordered Alstom Power Ltd to pay $22 million in penalties, including nearly $13 million in compensation to the Lithuanian government. 

In the United States, Alstom paid the DOJ $772 million in 2014 to settle FCPA charges related to bribing officials in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Bahamas. At the time, the fine was the biggest criminal penalty for FCPA offenses and the second biggest FCPA enforcement action overall.

Paris-based Alstom manufactures rail, power, and energy equipment. In June 2014, Alstom agreed to sell its power business to General Electric for $15.6 billion.

The SFO said Wednesday its investigation of Alstom “involved cooperation with more than 30 countries.”

The agency said another Alstom unit was found guilty in April this year in “a linked case.” Alstom Network UK Ltd was convicted of one count of conspiracy for making corrupt payments to win a tram and infrastructure contract in Tunisia.

A court had restricted reporting of that conviction until Wednesday.

Reynolds’ sentencing is scheduled for December 21.


Harry Cassin is the managing editor of the FCPA Blog.

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