The FCPA and foreign bribery continue to be a key focus of DOJ. On Tuesday, a privately-held U.S. export company along with its founder and one of its employees pleaded guilty to conspiracy, violations of the FCPA and the Travel Act and money laundering in connection with business transactions in Vietnam. U.S. v. Nguyen, Case No. 08 – 522 (E.D. Pa. Filed Sept. 4, 2008).

According to the court papers, Nexus Technologies, Inc. was founded by Nam Nguyen, who served as its president. The company has offices in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as well as Vietnam. Nexus is essentially a middleman for buyers in Vietnam for U.S. based vendors. Its customers in Vietnam are various government agencies, including the Ministries of Transport, Industry and Pubic Safety. Nexus purchased a wide variety of equipment and technology for its customers including underwater mapping equipment, bomb containment equipment, helicopter parts, chemical detectors, satellite communication parts and air tracking systems. Mr. Nguyen was responsible for running the Vietnam side of the business. Defendant Kim Nguyen was employed by the company and in charge of negotiating with U.S. suppliers and handing the finances for Nexus.

Between 1999 and 2008 the defendants paid over $250,000 to Vietnamese government officials in exchange for contracts to purchase a wide variety of equipment. According to the superseding indictment, the corrupt dealings of the defendants included:

• A transaction with Southern Services Fight Company and Southern Fight Management Center, both government owned entities, at Vung Tau Airport for the purchase of computer equipment;

• Dealings with Petro Vietnam Gas Company, another state owned entity, in connection with a supply contract;

• Transactions with Vietsovpetro Joint Venture officials, a joint venture of the governments of Vietnam and the Russian federation, in connection with a contract for the purchase of a hydraulic jacking system; and

• Dealings with T&T Co. Ltd. Officials, the procurement arm of Vietnam’s Ministry of Pubic Security, for equipment relevant to a safety equipment contract.

In addition to the bribes, the books and records of the company did not accurately record these transactions.

Sentencing is set for July 13, 2010.