Former Valve Company Executive Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Violate the FCPA

14 January 2009 Publication

In January 2009, the Department of Justice ("DOJ") announced that Mario Covino (an Italian citizen and resident of California) pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the FCPA. According to the criminal information, Covino was the Director of Worldwide Factory Sales for Company A (an unnamed co-conspirator company organized under U.S. law, with its principal place of business in the U.S., and in the business of designing and manufacturing service control valves for use in the nuclear, oil and gas, and power generation industries worldwide). As described in the information, Covino was responsible for overseeing Company A's new construction projects and the replacement of existing valves at Company A's numerous customer plants around the world. During his tenure, he authorized and caused Company A employees and agents to make (including through U.S. bank accounts) approximately $1 million in corrupt payments to individuals employed by state-owned enterprises in Brazil, China, India, Korea, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates for the purpose of assisting Company A in obtaining or retaining business. According to the information, payment recipients had the authority either to award contracts or toinfluence the technical specifications of an order in a manner favorable to Company A and Company A earned approximately $5 million in revenue from the improper payments.

Pursuant to a plea agreement, Covino faces a maximum of five years in prison and he has agreed to cooperate with the DOJ's ongoing investigation.