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Hawaii businessman pleads guilty to FCPA offense

The DOJ said Tuesday that a Hawaii-based businessman admitted bribing officials from Micronesia. 

Frank James Lyon, 43, pleaded guilty on January 22 to conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA and to commit federal program fraud.

The DOJ also charged a Micronesian official for his role in the bribe scheme. 

Master Halbert, 44, a citizen of Micronesia, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in Hawaii with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and was arrested Monday in Honolulu.

The complaint against Halbert was filed January 24 and unsealed Monday.

Halbert was a government official in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) Department of Transportation, Communications and Infrastructure. He administered FSM’s aviation programs, including the management of its airports, the DOJ said.

The DOJ said that between 2006 and 2016, Lyon’s Hawaii-based engineering and consulting company bribed FSM officials, including Halbert, to obtain and retain contracts with the FSM government valued at nearly $8 million. 

Lyon and his co-conspirators paid around $440,000 in bribes for the contracts. 

Some of the bribes were paid in cash in Hawaii, in FSM, and other locations, the DOJ said. 

Lyon also arranged for a vehicle to be purchased in Hawaii and shipped to FSM for Halbert’s personal use. 

Lyon is scheduled to be sentenced on May 13.

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Harry Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.

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