Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Former Alcatel Exec Pleads Guilty in Costa Rica Bribery Case

Christian Sapsizian, a former Alcatel CIT executive, pleaded guilty to participating in the payment of more than $2.5 million in bribes to senior Costa Rican government officials in order to obtain a mobile telephone contract from Costa Rica's state-owned telecommunications authority. Sapsizian entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Miami.



Sapsizian was employed by Alcatel or one of its subsidiaries for more than 20 years. At the time the corrupt payments were made, Sapsizian was the company's deputy vice president responsible for Costa Rica.



Sapsizian admitted that from February 2000 through September 2004, he conspired with co-defendant Edgar Valverde Acosta, a Costa Rican citizen who was Alcatel's senior country Officer in Costa Rica, and others to pay more than $2.5 million in bribes to senior Costa Rican officials in order to obtain a mobile telephone contract on behalf of Alcatel. The payments, funneled through one of Alcatel's Costa Rican consulting firms, were made to a director of Instituto Costarrisence de Electricidad (ICE), the state-owned telecommunications authority in Costa Rica, which was responsible for awarding all telecommunications contracts.



Sapsizian faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and $330,000 in forfeiture.

http://www.usdoj.gov

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