(Adds details of alleged scheme, no immediate comment from
Pomponi's lawyer, background)
By Aruna Viswanatha
WASHINGTON, July 17 A former vice president of
Alstom SA's U.S. unit pleaded guilty on Thursday over
his role in a scheme to bribe Indonesian government officials to
win a $118 million power project there, the U.S. Department of
William Pomponi, a former vice president of sales for the
French company's Connecticut-based power subsidiary, pleaded
guilty to conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices
The case centered on a $118 million contract to provide
services at a power plant in Sumatra. The contract, known as the
Tarahan project and completed in 2007, was part of a joint
venture between Alstom and Japan's Marubeni Corp.
Pomponi's plea adds further pressure on Alstom, which is
also under investigation by U.S. prosecutors and potentially
faces hundreds of millions of dollars in fines for violating a
U.S. law that bars bribes to officials of foreign governments.
The plea comes one month after the French turbine and train
maker agreed to a controversial $16.9 billion deal with General
Electric under which the U.S. conglomerate will acquire
most of Alstom's energy business.
Two other executives who worked at Alstom, including a
former vice president of global boiler sales and a vice
president of regional sales at the U.S. unit, have already
pleaded guilty in connection with the scheme.
Marubeni pleaded guilty in March to participating in
the seven-year scheme and was ordered to pay an $88 million
A lawyer for Pomponi and a U.S. lawyer for Alstom did not
immediately respond to requests for comment.
Prosecutors accused the former Alstom executives of bribing
an Indonesian lawmaker and members of the state-owned
electricity company to get their help in securing the contract.
They concealed the bribes through payments to two purported
consultants, prosecutors said.
(Reporting by Aruna Viswanatha; Editing by Chris Reese and