BizJet officers charged with bribing Latin American officials

Fri Apr 5, 2013 7:58pm EDT
 
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By Nick Brown

(Reuters) - Two officers of a Lufthansa (LHAG.DE: Quote) subsidiary were indicted in Oklahoma on charges of bribing foreign officials to secure aircraft maintenance contracts, while two others pleaded guilty to related criminal charges, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

The charges, unsealed on Friday, were filed in January of 2012 against four directors of BizJet International Sales & Support, a U.S.-based unit of Lufthansa that provides aircraft maintenance, after a joint probe by the DOJ and FBI.

The men are accused of offering "hundreds of thousands of dollars" in bribes to Latin American military officials in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the DOJ said in a statement on Friday.

The recipients of the bribes, to ensure aircraft maintenance contracts for BizJet, include officials at the Mexican Policia Federal Preventiva and the Estado De Roraima in Brazil, the DOJ said.

The charges follow an $11.8 million penalty paid last year by BizJet stemming from the same alleged corrupt practice.

Two of the men have already pleaded guilty, according to the DOJ. Paul DuBois, the company's former vice president of sales, admitted to one count each of violating and conspiring to violate the FCPA, while Former Vice President of Finance Neal Uhl pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the FCPA.

Both men were sentenced in federal court in Oklahoma on Friday to probation and eight months home detention.

BizJet's former Chief Executive, Bernd Kowalewski, along with former Sales Manager Jald Jensen, were indicted on charges of violating and conspiring to violate the FCPA and laundering money. Both are believed to be abroad, the DOJ said.   Continued...

 
The logo of German air carrier Lufthansa and the cancelled flights on a flight schedule board are seen at the Fraport airport in Frankfurt, September 7, 2012. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach