DOJ Corruption Charges Snare Hawaii Business Man, Foreign Official

While the government shutdown dragged on, the Courts and the Department of Justice continued to investigate and prosecute FCPA and related actions. One resulted in a guilty plea by a business man in Hawaii. U.S. v. Lyon, No. 1:19-cr-00008 (D. Hawaii Plea Jan. 22, 2019). Another involved a citizen of Micronesia tied to the bribery scheme with Mr. Lyon. That complaint, filed on January 24, 2019 was unsealed on February 11, 2019. U.S. v. Halbert, No. 1:19-mj-00089 (D. Hawaii Filed Jan. 24, 2019).

Frank J. Lyon is an executive at an Engineering Firm based in Hawaii. Master Halbert, a citizen of Micronesia, is an Official in the Federated State of Micronesia or FSM Department of Transportation, Communications and Infrastructure.

Beginning as early as 2006, and continuing through 2016, Mr. Lyon and others entered into a conspiracy to obtain and retain business from FSM and a State Agency. During the period Mr. Lyon transferred funds from the Engineering Firm’s bank accounts to his personal account. Later funds were withdrawn from his account and used to pay bribes at various times.

By 2012 Mr. Lyon was able through the payment of bribes to secure a $2.5 million contract for the Engineering Firm. As the scheme continued other payments were made. One involved the purchase of an automobile for Mr. Halbert. The payments were concealed with false records.

Mr. Lyon pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and pay bribes to an agent of an organization receiving federal funds and a state agency. Sentencing is scheduled for May 13, 2019.

Master Halbert was arrested and made his first appearance in the District Court in Hawaii on February 11, 2019. He is charged with participating in a money laundering scheme involving bribes paid by Mr. Lyon to secure project management contracts for the Engineering firm. The case is pending.

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