DOJ CONTINUES TO FOCUS ON FCPA ENFORCEMENT
DOJ continued to focus on FCPA enforcement, bringing a second case yesterday involving bribes paid to Panamanian officials to secure business for a Virginia company. This case was brought against John Warwick, the president of Ports Engineering Consultants Corporation, as well as of Overman Associates, and Overman de Panama. The latter was owned by Associates. U.S. v. Warwick, Case No. 3:09CR449 (E.D.Va. Filed Dec. 15, 2009). A previous case against Charles Jumet, who pleaded guilty in connection with this matter, is discussed here.
According to the court papers, Ports Engineering is a Panama company. It is affiliated with Overman Associates, and engineering firm based in Virginia Beach, Va. Ports Engineering was created so that Overman Associates and others could obtain a maritime contract from the Panama government.
The indictment charges Mr. Warwick with one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA. Specifically, it alleges that from 1997 through 2003 Mr. Warwick made approximately $200,000 in corrupt payments to Panamanian government officials. The payments were to secure a twenty year no bid contract for Ports Engineering. Under the contract, the company maintained lighthouses and buoys along Panama’s water ways.
The payments, according to the court papers, were made to the former administrator and deputy administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority. Payments were also made to a high-ranking elected executive official of the Republic of Panama.
Previously, Charles Jumet pleaded guilty in connection with bribes paid to secure business for Ports Authority. Mr. Jumet pleaded guilty to a two-count information charging him with conspiring to make corrupt payments to a foreign government official and making a false statement. The indictment against Mr. Warwick charges that he conspired with Mr. Jumet in making the corrupt payments. The information naming Mr. Jumet alleged he made the false statement in an effort to cover up the payments.