Sarah N. Lynch
The French firm Alstom SA (ALSO.PA) has pleaded guilty and will pay $772 million in criminal penalties to settle charges with the U.S. Justice Department alleging the company bribed government officials to win business around the world.
The fine will resolve charges related to a “widespread scheme involving tens of millions of dollars” in bribes around the world, including countries such as Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Bahamas, the DOJ said.
The Justice Department said Alstom paid more than $75 million to secure $4 billion in projects around the world. It said Alstom admitted to its criminal conduct.
DOJ said Alstom pleaded guilty to a two-count criminal information filed in a federal court in Connecticut and that Alstom’s Swiss unit also pleaded guilty to criminal charges that it conspired to violate federal bribery laws.
Alstom’s U.S. power and grid units each entered into deferred prosecution agreements with the DOJ and admitted to conspiring to violate bribery laws, the Justice Department said.
“We will not wait for countries to act responsibly,” Leslie R. Caldwell, assistant attorney general of the criminal division, said at a news conference.
Alstom’s power turbines unit has already been under tremendous heat, both because of the looming bribery probe fines and from a drop in orders and a cash crunch.