UPDATE 2-Alstom to pay record $772 mln to settle bribery charges with U.S.

lunes 22 de diciembre de 2014 15:07 GYT

(Adds details throughout, comment from Alstom CEO and U.S. Deputy Attorney General Cole)

By Sarah N. Lynch and Doina Chiacu

WASHINGTON Dec 22 (Reuters) - The French power and transportation company Alstom will pay a record $772.3 million fine and plead guilty to settle U.S. criminal charges that it funneled million of dollars in bribes through sham consultants to win business around the globe.

Using code names such as "Mr. Paris" and "Quiet Man," Alstom tried to conceal tens of millions of dollars in bribes by pretending that the consultants it had hired were legitimate, the U.S. Justice Department said on Monday.

In fact, the consultants were hired to bribe officials in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Taiwan, and the Bahamas, in a scheme that took place over about 11 years and involved paying more than $75 million to secure $4 billion in projects, the DOJ said.

The DOJ also said Alstom falsified its books to mask the bribes.

"It was astounding in its breadth, its brazenness and its worldwide consequences," said Deputy Attorney General James Cole at a press conference on Monday.

The Justice Department's settlement with the company marks the largest-ever fine levied against a company for violations of foreign bribery laws - a penalty the government said is appropriate because Alstom failed to self-report the violations or cooperate with the criminal probe.

The parent company pleaded guilty to two criminal counts and admitted to wrongdoing in a federal court in Connecticut.   Continuación...