Ex-BizJet Official Pleads Guilty in Foreign Bribe Scheme

A former executive at Lufthansa Technik’s BizJet International Sales & Support, a U.S. unit of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe government officials in Mexico and Panama.

Bernd Kowalewski, 57, the former president and chief executive officer of BizJet, is the third most senior executive of the company to plead guilty in the case, the Justice Department said in a statement. He pleaded guilty today in federal court in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the department said.

The government in March 2012 announced a deferred prosecution agreement with BizJet and an $11.8 million monetary penalty to resolve charges related to the FCPA. The FCPA prohibits bribing foreign government officials to gain a commercial advantage.

Kowalewski paid bribes to officials in exchange for their assistance in securing contracts for BizJet, according to charges filed in federal court in Tulsa in January 2012. Kowalewski was arrested in Amsterdam and appeared in court today, according to the statement.

Peter DuBois, the former vice president of sales and marketing, and Neal Uhl, a former vice president of finance, pleaded guilty to the same charge in 2012, according to the statement.

Jald Jensen, a former sales manager at BizJet, has been indicted for conspiracy as well as money laundering and is believed to be living abroad, according to the statement.

Electronic court records for the case didn’t identify the lawyers for the former executives.

The case is U.s. v. Bizjet International Sales and Support, Inc., 4:12-cr-00061, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Oklahoma (Tulsa).

To contact the reporter on this story: Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco at jrosenblatt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net Fred Strasser, Andrew Dunn

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