Alstom Network UK Ltd & Alstom Power Ltd
The SFO began a criminal investigation into the suspected payment of bribes by companies within the Alstom group in the UK in 2009 as a result of information provided by the Office of the Attorney General in Switzerland.
A total of 8 individuals and 2 corporates were charged with corruption offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 and offences of conspiracy to corrupt under the Criminal Law Act 1977.
The charges related to:
- corruption in trams and signalling equipment contracts in Tunisia, India and Poland, with payments routed through Alstom Network UK Ltd
- corruption in two power station contracts in Lithuania, with payments routed through Alstom Prom AG, Switzerland
- corruption in a Budapest Metro rolling stock contract in Hungary, with payments routed through Alstom Network UK Ltd.
Alleged corruption relating to trams and signalling equipment contracts in Tunisia, India and Poland
Alstom Network UK Ltd were found guilty of one count of conspiracy to corrupt on 10 April 2018 for making corrupt payments to win a tram and infrastructure contract in Tunisia. Alstom Network UK Ltd appealed this conviction. The Court of Appeal upheld the conviction and sentencing is now due to take place on 22 November.
In return for its work in securing the €85 million contract, Alstom Network UK Ltd paid €2.4 million to a company called Construction et Gestion Nevco Inc, which Alstom Network UK Ltd itself acknowledged was a front for corruption when it decided not to make a final payment of €240,000 in its contract.
Graham Hill and Robert Hallett were charged alongside the company in relation to alleged corruption to win tram and signalling equipment contracts in India and Poland. They were acquitted of all charges on 10 April 2018.
On 25 November 2019 Alstom Network UK Ltd was ordered to pay a total of £16.4 million for conspiracy to corrupt relating to a contract to supply trams in Tunisia. This sentence comprises £15 million in fines and £1.4 million in costs.
Corruption relating to power station contracts in Lithuania
Nicholas Reynolds, 53, a UK national and former Global Sales Director for Alstom Power Ltd’s Boiler Retrofits unit was convicted by jury of one count of conspiracy to corrupt. This followed a guilty plea from former Business Development Manager at Alstom Power Ltd John Venskus on 2 October 2017 and former Regional Sales Director at Alstom Power Sweden AB Göran Wikström on 22 June 2018 on the same charge. Alstom Power Ltd entered a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to corrupt on 10 May 2016.
The men conspired to pay bribes to officials in a Lithuanian power station and to senior Lithuanian politicians in order to win two contracts worth €240 million. They also falsified records to avoid checks in place to prevent bribery. Between them, the Alstom companies paid more than €5 million in bribes to secure the contracts.
John Venskus was sentenced to 3 years and 6 months imprisonment on 4 May 2018, and was also handed a confiscation order of £410,786.14 which was paid in full on 21 January 2020. Göran Wikström was sentenced to 2 years and 7 months imprisonment on 9 July 2018, and was also ordered to pay £40,000 in costs. Nicholas Reynolds was sentenced to 4 years and 6 months imprisonment on 21 December 2018, and was also ordered to pay £50,000 in costs. Nicholas Reynolds appealed his conviction. This appeal was dismissed on 5 December 2019.
Alstom Power Ltd was ordered to pay a total of £18,038,000 which included:
- a fine of £6,375,000
- compensation to the Lithuanian government of £10,963,000
- prosecution costs of £700,000.
Alleged corruption relating to a Budapest Metro rolling stock contract in Hungary
Alstom Network UK Ltd, Terence Watson and Jean-Daniel Laine were found not guilty of the charge on 28 November 2018. Michael Anderson was found not guilty of the charge on 29 November.
Page published on 3 Mar 2015 | Page modified on 15 Feb 2021