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September 29, 2023

North Carolina-based global specialty chemical manufacturing company Albemarle Corporation has agreed to pay over $218 million in penalties and forfeiture to the DOJ, $103.6 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest to the SEC, and enter into a three-year non-prosecution agreement to settle charges of violating the anti-bribery, recordkeeping, and internal accounting controls provision of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).  Albemarle admitted to using third-party intermediaries to pay bribes from about 2009 to 2017 in order to obtain and retain business with state-owned oil refineries in Vietnam, Indonesia, and India.  As a result, the company obtained profits of about $98.5 million.  DOJ; SEC

August 22, 2023

Reinaldo Vargas-Rodriguez, the former mayor of Humacao, Puerto Rico has been sentenced to over 3 years in prison for accepting bribes from two companies in exchange for awarding them municipal contracts.  According to DOJ, Vargas-Rodriguez accepted $27,000 in cash payments for awarding contracts for paving services and waste disposal.  DOJ

August 10, 2023

Colombian financial services institution Corporación Financiera Colombiana S.A. (Corficolombiana) has agreed to pay over $80 million to resolve foreign bribery investigations by criminal, civil, and administrative authorities in the United States and Colombia.  Between 2012 and 2015, Corficolombiana allegedly conspired with Brazilian-based construction conglomerate Odebrecht S.A. (Odebrecht) to offer and pay more than $20 million in bribes to Colombian government officials in order to win rights to construct and operate a 328-mile toll road.  As a result, Corficolombiana earned more than $28 million in profits.  Now, in addition to the financial penalties that it will pay—which will be divided between DOJ and SEC—the company will be subject to a three-year deferred prosecution agreement with DOJ.  DOJ; SEC

May 16, 2023

Randall Judge Phelan, a former Tribal government official, will spend 5 years in prison for soliciting bribes and kickbacks from a contractor providing construction services on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota, the home of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation. For approximately 8 years, from 2013 to 2020, Phelan solicited and accepted bribes and kickbacks totaling more than $645,000. In exchange, Phelan helped the contractor’s business by awarding millions of dollars in contracts, fabricating bids, advocating for the contractor with other Tribal officials, and facilitating the submission and payment of fraudulent invoices. DOJ, USAO ND

April 21, 2023

Keith Alan Seguin, an Air Force civilian employee, will spend 188 months in prison and pay over $39 million in restitution to the Air Force, Army and General Services Administration, and the IRS, and forfeit over $2.3 million that he received in bribe money for colluding with others to evade competition and steer $100 million in government Air Force projects to them. Seguin was charged with making a false income tax return and for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. USAO WDTX

April 17, 2023

Bill R. Miller, a construction company owner, will spend 78 months in prison and will pay nearly $1 million in restitution for a bid-rigging and bribery scheme perpetrated against California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). Caltrans contract manager and Miller-co-conspirator, Choon Foo “Keith” Yong, pleaded guilty to receiving bribes that included cash, wine, furniture, and remodeling service on his home. Yong will spend 49 months in prison and will pay over nearly $1 million in restitution as well. Miller, Yong, and their co-conspirators sought to corrupt the competitive bidding process to enrich themselves, while wasting taxpayer dollars on contracts not secured through free and fair competition. DOJ, DOJ

March 9, 2023

A former Malaysia-based Goldman Sachs investment banker has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for being involved in a massive bribery and money-laundering scheme involving Malaysia’s state-owned 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).  In order to obtain and retain lucrative business for Goldman Sachs, Roger Ng and co-conspirators at Goldman Sachs misappropriated billions of dollars from 1MDB, which they used to pay bribes to 12 government officials in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.  Proceeds from the scheme were then laundered through the U.S. financial system.  DOJ

March 2, 2023

Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (“Ericsson”) has agreed to pay $206 million for breaching a 2019 Deferred Prosecution Agreement that was signed to settle allegations that the Swedish telecommunications company used third-party agents to bribe government officials in China, Djibouti, Indonesia, Kuwait, and Vietnam, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).  Under the terms of the 2019 DPA, Ericsson agreed to pay a $520 million criminal penalty and comply with certain conditions.  However, Ericsson was found to have failed to disclose additional information relating to its conduct in China and Djibouti, as well as promptly report conduct in Iraq that may constitute another violation of the FCPA.  USAO SDNY

February 28, 2023

Seven defendants who previously pleaded guilty to defrauding a federal program that provides technology to underprivileged schools has been sentenced to up to 4 years in prison each and ordered to pay up to $1 million each in restitution.  Four of the defendants—Peretz Klein, Susan Klein, Ben Klein, and Sholem Steinberg—misrepresented themselves and their companies as vendors to schools participating in the federal E-Rate program, receiving over $14 million in federal funds even though they failed to provide much of the equipment ordered.  Two other defendants—Simon Goldbrener and Moshe Schwartz—misrepresented themselves as consultants who helped schools participate in the E-Rate program, when in fact, they took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from the above vendors to circumvent the bidding process.  A final defendant, Aron Melber, was a school official who falsely certified to having obtained E-Rate-funded equipment and services through a fair and open bidding process.  USAO SDNY

January 4, 2023

The former Minister of Government for Bolivia, Arturo Carlos Murillo Prijic, was sentenced to nearly 6 years in prison after pleading guilty to laundering over $500,000 in bribes through bank accounts based in Miami.  Prijic had received the bribes from a Florida-based company in exchange for helping them secure a $5.6 million contract to provide non-lethal equipment, such as tear gas, to the Bolivian Ministry of Defense.  DOJ
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