December 21, 2018

French multinational energy and transport company executives convicted of conspiring to bribe foreign officials

On December 19, 2018, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) announced the conviction of Nicholas Reynolds, a UK national who served as a Global Sales Director of Alstom Power Ltd. for conspiring to bribe Lithuanian officials in order to secure contracts related to a major upgrade of a Lithuanian power plant in violation of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.  Today, the court sentenced Reynolds to 4.5 years imprisonment.  Commenting on the severity of the sentence, the Director of the SFO said, “we can only hope that this may deter others tempted to resort to illicit means to win contracts.”

The SFO’s investigation of Alstom, which began in 2009, included operations in over 30 countries.  Following the announcement of Reynolds’ conviction, the SFO also made public earlier activity in this and two related cases brought under the same statutes.  These include:  the conviction of John Venskus, former Business Development Manager at Alstom Power Ltd, in October 2017; the conviction of Goran Wikstrom, the former Regional Sales Director at Alstom Power Sweden AB, in June 2018; a guilty plea by Alstom Power Ltd on May 10, 2016, pursuant to which it was ordered to pay over £18 million in fines, compensation to the Lithuanian government, and costs; the conviction of Alstom Network UK Ltd on one count of conspiracy to corrupt, for payments made to win a tram contract in Tunisia in April 2018; the acquittal of Alstom Network UK Ltd and three individuals on corruption charges relating to the Budapest metro; and, the acquittal of that company and two individuals for their involvement in transport contracts in India and Poland in April 2018.

SFO news release (21 December 2018)