Sunday , September 23 2018

Huge bribes offered to secure foreign contracts

KUWAIT CITY, July 10: Two former executives of Louis Berger International (LBI), a New Jerseybased construction management company, have been sentenced in connection with a long-running bribery scheme to secure government construction management contracts by bribing officials in India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Kuwait, reports Al-Rai daily.

Richard Hirsch, 62, of Makati, Philippines, was sentenced to two years of probation and fined $10,000. Hirsch has previously served as the senior vice-president responsible for the company’s operations in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam, while James McClung, 60, of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, was sentenced on July 7, 2016, to one year plus one day in jail.

McClung previously served as the senior vice-president responsible for the company’s operations in India and Vietnam. On July 17, 2015, McClung and Hirsch each pleaded guilty before Judge Cooper in Trenton federal court to one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and one substantive count of violating the FCPA.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court: From 1998 through 2010, LBI and its employees, including Hirsch and McClung, orchestrated $3.9 million in bribe payments to foreign officials in various countries in order to secure government contracts.

To conceal the payments, the conspirators made payments under the guise of “commitment fees,” “counterpart per diems” and other payments to third-party vendors. In reality, the payments were intended to fund bribes to foreign officials who had awarded contracts to LBI or who supervised LBI’s work on contracts, the defendants admitted

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