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Former Alstom UK director jailed for ‘sophisticated’ corruption

A former global sales director for Alstom Power Ltd was jailed for four years and six months Friday for his role in a conspiracy to bribe Lithuanian officials to win two contracts worth $274 million. 

Nicholas Reynolds, 53, a UK citizen, was convicted earlier this week in the Blackfriars Crown Court in London. He was also ordered to pay $63,000.

Alstom companies paid more than $5.7 million in bribes to Lithuanian officials and politicians to secure the contracts at the Elektrenai power station, the SFO said.

“This was sophisticated corruption, planned and executed under your direction over many years,” UK Judge HHJ Beddoe told Reynolds Friday.

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

SFO director Lisa Osofsky said Friday, “The substantial prison sentences imposed in this case reflect the seriousness of the bribery and corruption. We can only hope that this may deter others tempted to resort to illicit means to win contracts.”

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.

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.

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

In the United States, Alstom paid the DOJ $772 million in 2014 to settle FCPA charges for bribing officials in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Bahamas.

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Harry Cassin is the managing editor of the FCPA Blog.

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