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By Dylan Tokar
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- A jury is expected to deliberate Thursday in a long-running case that is testing the reach of the U.S.'s foreign bribery law.
Closing arguments were delivered Wednesday in the trial of Lawrence Hoskins, a former Alstom SA senior vice president. The U.S. government's case against Mr. Hoskins hinges in part on whether he qualifies as an "agent" under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits bribes to foreign government officials.
To make that determination, the jury will consider whether Mr. Hoskins, who was charged in 2013 with helping organize a scheme to bribe Indonesian officials for a $118 million power contract, had sufficient ties to a former Alstom subsidiary based in Windsor, Conn.
The statute, enacted in 1977, applies to companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges and private companies organized under U.S. laws, their shareholders, directors, employees and agents, as well as other individuals who violate the statute while in U.S. territory.
Prosecutors allege that Mr. Hoskins acted as an agent of Alstom Power Inc., the former Alstom subsidiary, which served as headquarters of Alstom's world-wide boiler business.
Mr. Hoskins has argued that the FCPA doesn't apply to him because he is British national who worked in suburban Paris and didn't visit the U.S. during his three years at Alstom. His lawyers have said the subsidiary didn't have enough control over his activities to meet the common legal definition of an agent.
The case is before the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. Mr. Hoskins is also facing money-laundering and conspiracy charges.
The case against Mr. Hoskins already has yielded a ruling that placed more defined limits on who the government can charge with conspiring to violate the statute. The trial, which began Oct. 28, was delayed in part because of a lengthy appeal by the Justice Department of that ruling.
A U.S. government investigation of Alstom ended when the company resolved its own FCPA violations. Alstom sold its power business to General Electric Co. in 2015, after agreeing to pay $772 million to resolve the FCPA probe.
Write to Dylan Tokar at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 06, 2019 19:47 ET (00:47 GMT)
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