Former Alstom Executive Pleads Guilty to Indonesia Bribes

A former Alstom SA executive pleaded guilty to U.S. charges that he took part in a scheme to bribe foreign government officials to win a power contract in Indonesia.

William Pomponi, 65, is the third Alstom executive to admit guilt in the case. In court today, he said he plotted to bribe Indonesian officials and members of the country’s state-owned electricity company, Perusahaan Listrik Negara PT, to win a $118 million contract to provide power from facilities in Tarahan, on the southern coast of Sumatra, prosecutors said.

“To conceal the bribes, the defendants retained two consultants purportedly to provide legitimate consulting services,” federal prosecutors said in a statement.

Pomponi, a former vice president of regional sales at Alstom’s Connecticut-based power subsidiary, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in New Haven to conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The law bars individuals and companies doing business in the U.S. from paying bribes in other countries.

Alstom, a Levallois-Perret, France-based power-equipment maker, has been investigated by multiple countries since 2004, when auditors for the Swiss Federal Banking Commission unearthed documents showing possible corrupt payments.

Since then, the company has paid more than $53 million over claims its employees bribed officials in at least five countries. In addition to the U.S., Alstom is being investigated by the U.K. and Brazil.

Alstom’s Cooperation

“Alstom continues to cooperate with the Department of Justice to address any allegations of past misconduct,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “The company is committed to assuring that it conducts its worldwide business with integrity and fully in compliance with all laws and regulations.”

Frederic Pierucci, the former vice president of global boiler sales at Alstom, and David Rothschild, ex-vice president of regional sales at the Connecticut subsidiary, pleaded guilty to related charges in New Haven last year. Pierucci is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 10.

Marubeni Corp., a Japanese commodity-trading company and Alstom’s partner on the project, pleaded guilty in March and was ordered to pay an $88 million fine.

Charges are pending against Lawrence Hoskins, a former senior vice president of the Asia region for Alstom, whose trial is scheduled for next year. He denies wrongdoing.

The case is U.S. v. Pierucci, 3:12-cr-00238, U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut (New Haven).

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