Japanese Executive Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Violate the FCPA

17 December 2008 Publication

In December 2008, Misao Hioki, an executive with a Japanese company (the "Company'), pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the FCPA.

During the relevant time period, the Company was a manufacturer of marine hoses and other products. Hioki oversaw the Company's international sales and supervised sales employees, including employees of the Company's U.S. subsidiary which sold product in the Americas. According to the criminal information, Hioki participated in a conspiracy to make improper payments to foreign officials in Central and South America and elsewhere in order to obtain and retain business for the Company and its U.S. subsidiary. The criminal information details various methods of the conspiracy employed by Hioki and his co-conspirators, including approving improper payments to employees of government owned enterprises, through local sales agents, to secure business for the Company and its U.S. subsidiary. The criminal information sets forth various acts undertaken in the U.S. by Hioki and his co-conspirators, including telephone, e-mail and fax correspondence with U.S. subsidiary employees through which the improper payments were discussed and planned.

Hioki also pled guilty for his role in a conspiracy to rig bids, fix prices and allocate market share of marine hoses in the U.S. and elsewhere, all in violation of the Sherman Act. Hioki was sentenced to two years in federal prison and was ordered to pay a $80,000 criminal fine.

Insights