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Remarks for First Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Connecticut Michael J. Gustafson Press Conference Regarding Alstom Bribery Plea


Washington, DC
United States

Government works best when it operates transparently, and with the public interest as its sole aim. Because of that, fighting corruption has long been a top priority of federal prosecutors in Connecticut and across the Department of Justice. Today’s historic resolution is an important reminder that mandate to stamp out corruption does not stop at any border, whether city, state, or national. For years, Alstom has operated in the shadows, secretly lining the pockets of government officials around the globe in order to secure millions of dollars in public contracts. They ensured that the contracts would not necessarily go to the most qualified bidders, or the best products, but instead to whomever was willing to pay off the right decision makers. They covered up those payments in some time honored ways: by using so-called consultants whose sole value was access to corrupt officials, and by recording bribes on their books and records as commissions and consultancy fees.

A significant part of this illicit work was unfortunately carried out from Alstom Power’s office in Windsor, Connecticut. Alstom Power, and before it ABB and Combustion Engineering, has been an important part of the fabric of our state since the 1950’s and an employer of hundreds in the Hartford area. Yet as this case makes clear, executives and employees from Windsor worked hand in hand with co-conspirators elsewhere to bribe officials in places such as Indonesia, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. I am hopeful that this resolution, and in particular the deferred prosecution agreement with Alstom Power, will provide the company an opportunity to reshape its culture and restore its place as a respected corporate citizen.

I applaud Mr. Cole, Ms. Caldwell, the prosecutors of the Department’s Fraud Section, the FBI, and prosecutors in my office, particularly David Novick, for the years they have spent in seeing justice done here. Their successful collaboration is a model for how effective this Department can be. I echo all of the thanks given by Ms. Caldwell and Mr. Cole, and I also want to single out the special agents of the Meriden, Connecticut office of the FBI, who have provided significant support in the investigation of this case. 

Thank you.

Updated December 22, 2014