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September 07, 2008 

Philadelphia Area Export Company and Employees Indicted for FCPA Violations Relating to Vietnam

Last Thursday, a Federal grand jury in Philadelphia indicted Nexus Technologies Inc. and four employees of the company on one count of conspiracy to bribe Vietnamese public officials in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and four substantive counts of violating the FCPA by paying bribes to various Vietnamese government officials in exchange for contracts to supply equipment and technology to Vietnamese government agencies. The four employees were arrested the following day.

This appears to be the first FCPA case involving Vietnam.

According to the Justice Department, the indictment alleged that:

Nexus Technologies Inc. was a Delaware company with offices in Philadelphia, New Jersey and Vietnam that purchased a wide variety of equipment and technology, including underwater mapping equipment, bomb containment equipment, helicopter parts, chemical detectors, satellite communication parts and air tracking systems, for export to agencies of the government of Vietnam. The indictment alleges that from approximately 1999 through 2008, the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to pay Vietnamese government officials bribes in order to secure lucrative contracts for Nexus Technologies Inc. Over the course of the scheme, the defendants are alleged to have paid at least $150,000 in bribes to foreign officials in Vietnam. The defendants' customers in Vietnam are alleged to have included multiple Vietnamese government agencies, including the commercial branches of Vietnam's Ministries of Transport, Industry and Public Safety.
The conspiracy count charged against the individual defendants carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a fine of the greater of $250,000 or twice the gain; and a three year term of supervised release. The FCPA counts charged against the individual defendants each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a fine of the greater of $100,000 or twice the gain; and a three year term of supervised release. Nexus Technologies Inc., faces a maximum $2 million fine per count, if convicted.

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