On November 13, 2009, the Department of Justice announced that Charles Paul Edward Jumet, a Virginia resident, pleaded guilty to participating in a seven-year conspiracy to pay bribes to Panamanian government officials in order to secure a maritime contract. Jumet, 53, was charged in federal court in Richmond, Virginia under a two-count criminal information charging him with conspiring to make corrupt payments to foreign government officials for the purpose of securing business for Ports Engineering Consultants Corporation (PECC), an affiliate of Virginia Beach-based Overman Associates, thereby conspiring to violate the FCPA.
The conspiracy involved payments to Panamanian government officials for awarding PECC a no-bid, 20-year contract to maintain lighthouses and buoys along Panama's waterways in December 1997. By 2003, Jumet and his co-conspirators had paid more than $200,000 to the former administrator and deputy administrator of Panama's National Maritime Ports Authority and to a former, high-ranking elected official of Panama.
Under the plea agreement, Jumet agreed to cooperate with the Department of Justice in the ongoing investigation. The FCPA conspiracy count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of the greater of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the scheme. The false statement count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Jumet's sentencing is scheduled for February 12, 2010.
The DOJ's November 13, 2009 release can be found here: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2009/November/09-crm-1229.html.