Construction management firm Louis Berger has been charged with bribing Indian officials several crores of rupees to win two major water developmental projects in Goa and Guwahati.
The bribery of $976,630 for a Goa project included payments to a Minister, the details of which have not been disclosed by the Department of Justice.
On Friday, the company agreed to pay $17.1 million criminal fine to resolve charges that it bribed officials in India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Kuwait to secure government construction management contracts.
Two of its former executives — Richard Hirsch (61) of Philippines, and James McClung (59) of the UAE — pleaded guilty to the bribery charges.
Sentencing hearings for Hirsch and McClung are scheduled for November 5, 2015.
The Indian government, assisted by Japanese government, initiated the five-year Goa Water Supply and Sewerage Project to expand, rehabilitate and build water and sewerage facilities.
Louis Berger was part of a consortium for the project in Goa. The consortium included two Japanese firms and an Indian partner.
Federal prosecutors, in their 11-page charge sheet, alleged that Louis Berger maintained a detailed diary and account of bribery made to Indian officials.
The attachment included an entry, “Paid by [an agent of the company] to minister on behalf of agent.”
According to court documents, the company through its employees and agents, together with others, used terms like “commitment fee,” “counterpart per diem,” “marketing fee” and “field operations expenses” to conceal the true nature of the bribe payments.
Louis Berger has offices in Gurgaon, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad.