The extent of French engineering company Alstom’s bribery record continues to unravel as Poland joins the UK in filing charges against it just a week after its $772m fine by the US Department of Justice.
The DoJ fine – the largest criminal corporate penalty under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) ever – relates to corruption charges against by the French train and turbine maker in foreign countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Indonesia.
The penalty dwarfs the previous record of $450m that the German multinational conglomerate Siemens AG paid to the DoJ in 2008 (though Siemens was subject to an additional $350m fine to the US Securities and Exchange Commission that Alstom escapes by not being listed in the US).
The DoJ charges outlined how Alstom paid out $75m to government officials resulting in winning projects worth over $4bn, with profits of around $300m.
Its probe centered on a $118m deal to supply boiler services to a power plant in Sumatra, where hundreds of thousands of dollars were funneled off to a member of Indonesia’s parliament and the country’s state-controlled electricity company.