* Japan trader admits bribing officials for power project
* Will cooperate with U.S. Justice Department investigation
* Says should not affect current financial forecasts
(Adds Marubeni comment, project details)
By Casey Sullivan
March 19 Marubeni Corp has agreed to
pay $88 million and plead guilty to charges by U.S. prosecutors
that the Japanese trading company paid high-ranking government
officials in Indonesia to secure a lucrative power project, the
Justice Department said on Wednesday.
Marubeni and its employees bribed officials in Indonesia,
including high-ranking members of Parliament and
state-controlled electricity company Perusahaan Listrik Negara,
to win a $118 million contract to provide power services for
citizens of Indonesia, the U.S. agency said in a statement.
"For several years, the Marubeni Corporation worked in
concert with a Connecticut company, among others, to bribe
Indonesian officials in order to secure a contract to provide
power-related services in Indonesia," said Acting U.S. Attorney
Michael J. Gustafson of the District of Connecticut.
The contract, known as the Tarahan project, was part of a
joint venture with its partner, French power equipment maker
Alstom SA. Two Alstom executives of the U.S. arm of
Alstom in Connecticut, Frederic Pierucci and David Rothschild,
have so far pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate bribery laws
in connection with the project.
The two companies were awarded the contract to expand a
coal-fired power plant located at Tarahan, near Lampung, on the
island of Sumatra in 2004. The project was finished in 2007.
Marubeni pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges on
Wednesday in federal court in Connecticut, the Justice
Department said. The charges consisted of violations of the
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits businesses for
paying off government officials, it added.
"The company refused to play by the rules, then refused to
cooperate with the government's investigation," said Acting
Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice
Department's Criminal Division. "Now Marubeni faces the
consequences for its crooked business practices in Indonesia."
The Japanese trading house has agreed to implement an
enhanced global anti-corruption compliance program and cooperate
with the Justice Department's investigation, the agency said.
Marubeni said in a statement that the resolution should not
affect its financial forecasts for the year that ends in March.
Shares of Marubeni were down 0.4 percent in Tokyo morning
trade, versus an 0.7 percent fall in the Nikkei 225
(Reporting by Casey Sullivan; Additional Reporting by David
Ingram and James Topham; Editing by Richard Chang and Kenneth