VimpelCom enters resolutions with DOJ over allegations of bribing government official in Uzbekistan

By Mark Iandolo | Feb 27, 2016

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) – VimpelCom Limited entered resolutions with the Department of Justice after allegations of a conspiracy to bribe Uzbekistan government officials between 2006 and 2012.

VimpelCom is the world’s sixth-largest telecommunications company and issues publicly traded securities in the United States. Its wholly owned Uzbek subsidiary is called Unitel LLC.

According to the allegations, the company paid more $114 million in bribery payments to a government official in Uzbekistan in order to continue operating in the Uzbek telecommunications market.

The department filed a civil complaint against the company in a relation action, targeting more than $550 million held in Swiss bank accounts. The department believes this money is what constitutes the bribe payments and related laundering and would like to see the money forfeited.

“These cases combine a landmark FCPA resolution for corporate bribery with one of the largest forfeiture actions we have ever brought to recover bribe proceeds from a corrupt government official,” Assistant Attorney General Caldwell said. “The Criminal Division’s FCPA enforcement program and our Kleptocracy Initiative are two sides of the same anti-corruption coin. The FCPA resolution in this case is also one of the most significant coordinated international and multi-agency resolutions in the history of the FCPA, and demonstrates our commitment both to pursuing justice and to bringing about corporate reform.”

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