Sunday, October 25, 2020

Former Alstom Executive jailed for role in money laundering scheme

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Lawrence Hoskins, a former executive of French power and transportation company Alstom, was sentenced Friday to one year and three months in prison for his role in a money-laundering scheme that prosecutors say was designed to promote violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act.

Hoskins was also fined $30,000, the Department of Justice announced.

The sentencing, handed down by Judge Janet Bond Arterton of the District of Connecticut, comes after Arterton acquitted Hoskins on Feb. 26 on charges of violating the FCPA for his role in a foreign bribery scheme in Indonesia, while letting stand the money-laundering charges.

Federal prosecutors had sought a sentence of up to nine years despite the acquittal.

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During the November trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Hoskins, in his role as SVP for Alstom’s International Network, engaged in a conspiracy to pay bribes to officials in Indonesia—including a high-ranking member of the Indonesian Parliament and the President of Perusahaan Listrik Negara, the state-owned and state-controlled electricity company in Indonesia—in exchange for assistance in securing a $118 million contract, known as the Tarahan Project, for Alstom Power and its consortium partner, Marubeni, to provide power-related services for Indonesian citizens.

To conceal the bribes, Hoskins and his co-conspirators, according to the evidence, retained two consultants to appear to provide legitimate consulting services on behalf of Alstom Power in connection with the Tarahan Project.

Prosecutors also presented evidence that Hoskins repeatedly emailed and called U.S.-based co-conspirators regarding the scheme while they were in the United States, even though Hoskins himself never set foot in the United States during the scheme. Nevertheless, prosecutors had argued Hoskins violated the FCPA by acting as an “agent” of Alstom’s U.S. subsidiary for helping to arrange the bribes.

Disagreeing with the jury’s finding, Judge Arterton said in her ruling that the court “harbors significant doubt” that Hoskins “acted as an agent” of Alstom Power related to the Tarahan Project, “in the absence of persuasive evidence demonstrating that [Alstom Power] had authority to control Mr. Hoskins or that he agreed to be so controlled.”

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