“Marubeni pleaded guilty to engaging in a seven-year scheme to pay – and conceal – bribes to a high-ranking member of parliament and other foreign officials in Indonesia,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman.
“The company refused to play by the rules, then refused to cooperate with the government’s investigation,” he said in a Justice Department release issued on the day of the plea.
Acting US Attorney Michael J. Gustafson added that Marubeni “worked in concert” with a Connecticut company and others.
“Today’s guilty plea by Marubeni Corporation is an important reminder to the business community of the significant consequences of participating in schemes to bribe government officials, whether at home or abroad,” Gustafson said.
Marubeni plead guilty on eight counts: “one count of conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and seven counts of violating the FCPA”, said the Justice Department.
The Tokyo-based firm, which is a top shareholder in Jamaica Public Service Company, has agreed to pay a criminal fine of US$88 million, subject to the district court’s approval, the Justice Department said.
Its release states that based on court filings, Marubeni and its employees, and others, “paid bribes to officials in Indonesia, including a high-ranking member of the Indonesian parliament and high-ranking members of Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), 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 Marubeni and its consortium partner to provide power-related services for the citizens of Indonesia.”
The project involved the expansion of the coal-fired power plant located at Tarahan, near Lampung, on the island of Sumatra.
However, a release issued by Marubeni Corp, on March 20, stated that it had reached a resolution with the Justice Department in relation to the charges and agreed to plead guilty to violating and conspiring to violate the FCPA.
Marubeni said it was a member of the consortium awarded the Taharan contract in 2004, and that the project was completed in 2007.
The Justice Department noted that, as part of the plea agreement, “Marubeni has agreed to maintain and implement an enhanced global anti-corruption compliance program and to cooperate with the department’s ongoing investigation.”
Marubeni in turn said it was committed to enhancing its anti-corruption compliance programme.