VENTURES AFRICA – The former GM of engineering and construction firm, the Bechtel Corp, Asem Elgawhary (73), had been sentenced to three-and-half years imprisonment for taking bribes amounting to $5.2 million, it emerged late on Monday.
In early December last year, according to Reuters, Elgawhary pleaded guilty to the charge of receiving payments from three power companies. “Other charges he pleaded guilty to included mail fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and obstruction and interference with the administration of the tax laws,” Reuters reported.
Alstom S.A, one of those power utilities, and its Swiss unit, pleaded guilty as charged and consented to paying a $772.3 million penalty in late December last year.
This was aimed at settling US criminal charges that it channelled millions of dollars in kickbacks through fake consultants to earn business contracts throughout the world.
A lawyer for Elgawhary did not instantly reply to an invitation from Reuters for comment.
Elgawhary had confessed that he did try to conceal the scheme by steering the kickbacks to offshore bank accounts, including some in Switzerland.
Bechtel is a global engineering, project management and construction group.
Since 1898, the company has completed more than 25.000 extraordinary projects in 160 countries on all seven continents serving the energy delivery, defense, environmental cleanup, mining & metals, oil, gas & chemicals, infrastructure and transportation and telecommunications industries.