Hartford, Connecticut - Two former executives of the Indonesian subsidiary of the French power and transportation company Alstom S.A. and a former executive of the Japanese trading company Marubeni Corporation have been charged in a superseding indictment unsealed Tuesday for their alleged participation in a scheme to pay bribes to foreign government officials in Indonesia.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney John H. Durham of the District of Connecticut and Assistant Director in Charge Paul D. Delacout of the FBI’s Los Angeles Office made the announcement.
Reza Moenaf, 63, the former president of Alstom’s subsidiary in Indonesia; Eko Sulianto, 63, the former director of sales of Alstom’s subsidiary in Indonesia; and Junji Kusunoki, 57, the former deputy general manager of Marubeni’s Overseas Power Project Department, were each charged with conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Kusunoki was charged with six counts of violating the FCPA and four counts of money laundering, and Sulianto and Moenaf were each charged with two counts of violating the FCPA and one count of money laundering.
According to the indictment, the defendants, together with others, paid bribes to officials in Indonesia – including, among others, a high-ranking member of the Indonesian Parliament and the president of Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), the state-owned and state-controlled electricity company in Indonesia – in exchange for assistance in securing a $118 million contract, known as the Tarahan project, for Alstom’s subsidiaries in Connecticut and Indonesia and for Marubeni to provide power-related services for the citizens of Indonesia. To conceal the bribes, the defendants allegedly retained two so-called “consultants” purportedly to provide legitimate consulting services on behalf of the power company and its subsidiaries in connection with the Tarahan project. The indictment, however, alleges that the primary purpose for hiring the consultants was to use the consultants to pay bribes to Indonesian officials.
The first consultant retained by the defendants allegedly received hundreds of thousands of dollars in his Maryland bank account to be used to bribe the member of Parliament. The consultant then allegedly transferred the bribe money to a bank account in Indonesia for the benefit of the official. According to court documents, emails between the defendants and their co-conspirators discussed in detail the use of the first consultant to funnel bribes to the member of Parliament and the influence that the member of Parliament could exert over the Tarahan project.
The superseding indictment alleges that in the fall of 2003, the defendants and their co-conspirators determined that the first consultant was not effectively bribing key officials at PLN. One email between Moenaf, Sulianto and their co-conspirators described PLN officials’ “concern that if we have won the job, whether their rewards will still be satisfactory or this agent only give them pocket money and disappear.” In another email, Moenaf asserted that the consultant “has no grip on the PLN Tender team at all” and “is more or less similar to [a] cashier which I feel we pay too much.” As a result, the co-conspirators allegedly retained a second consultant to more effectively bribe PLN officials. The defendants and their co-conspirators were successful in securing the Tarahan project and subsequently made payments to the consultants for the alleged purpose of bribing the Indonesian officials, the indictment alleges.
An indictment is merely an accusation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The charges against Moenaf, Sulianto, and Kusunoki are part of a wide-ranging investigation into alleged corrupt practices by employees of Alstom and Marubeni. Five other individuals, as well as Alstom and Marubeni, have pleaded guilty in the case so far, and Lawrence Hoskins, a former senior vice president at Alstom, was found guilty on Nov. 6, 2019, following a jury trial, of 11 counts of conspiracy, violating the FCPA, and money laundering.
The FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office is investigating the case with assistance from the FBI’s Meriden, Connecticut, Resident Agency. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs assisted in the investigation. Senior Deputy Chief Daniel S. Kahn and Assistant Chief Lorinda Laryea of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney David E. Novick of the District of Connecticut are prosecuting the case.
The department appreciates the significant cooperation provided by its law enforcement colleagues in Indonesia, Switzerland's Office of the Attorney General, as well as authorities in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Singapore and Taiwan.