September 9, 2021

Former Account Manager Charged in Bribery and Money Laundering Scheme

An indictment was unsealed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York charging a former account manager of a Swedish multinational telecommunications company with involvement in a bribery scheme in the Republic of Djibouti and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

In the June 2020 indictment, the DOJ charged the account manager with one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA") for the bribery of three officials in Djibouti in order to obtain a contract valued at approximately €20,300,000 with a wholly state-owned telecommunications company. The DOJ alleged that to effectuate the scheme, the account manager entered into a sham contract with a consulting company, helped to draft a due diligence report that did not disclose the relationship between a foreign official and the owner of the consulting company, and caused the company to approve fake invoices. The DOJ also charged the account manager with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering for transmitting funds through bank accounts in the United States to carry out the bribery scheme.

The indictment came approximately six months after the Swedish multinational telecommunications company entered into a December 2019 deferred prosecution agreement ("DPA") with the DOJ in connection with charges that the company conspired to violate the anti-bribery, books and records, and internal controls provisions of the FCPA. Also in December 2019, the company resolved an SEC complaint alleging FCPA violations, and a subsidiary of the company pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions. Under the DPA, the company agreed to continued cooperation with the DOJ in any ongoing investigation, including against individuals. To settle the DOJ and SEC charges, the company agreed to pay (i) a criminal penalty of $520,650,432 and (ii) $539,920,000 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest.

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