Recordbreaking Alstom Criminal FCPA Settlement Results from Wide-Ranging Bribery Scheme and Lack of Cooperation

The Department of Justice ended 2014 with its largest criminal FCPA enforcement action yet.  On December 22, 2014, Alstom S.A., a French engineering, power and transportation company, agreed to pay $772 million to resolve charges relating to widespread bribery involving tens of millions of dollars paid to foreign officials across the globe.  The bribery schemes included travel for foreign officials, bribes disguised as charitable payments and funds funneled to foreign officials via third parties.  The case brings up questions of jurisdiction, the consequences of failing to cooperate, as well as successor liability, given Alstom’s pending sale to General Electric.  The intersection of U.S. and French law may also have affected the terms of this settlement.  With insight from Edward Kang, a partner at Alston & Bird, The FCPA Report analyzes the salient facts and terms of the resolution, and draws compliance takeaways.  See also “Compliance Lessons from Total S.A.’s $398 Million FCPA Settlement: Foreign Cooperation, Compliance Monitors, Broad Jurisdiction and the Effect of Reluctant Cooperation with the DOJ and SEC,” The FCPA Report, Vol. 2, No. 12 (Jun. 12, 2013).

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