A former Alcatel executive has pleaded guilty to paying more than US$2.5 million (NZ$3.28 billion) in bribes to secure a telephone contract with Costa Rica’s state telecommunications agency.
Christian Sapsizian pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and violating the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act at US District Court in Miami. He is set to be sentenced on December 20 and now faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and US$580,000 in fines.
Sapsizian admitted to paying the bribes to a director at Costa Rica’s Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad in order to secure mobile telephone contracts for his company.
Alcatel was eventually awarded a US$149 million mobile phone contract in August 2001.
The FBI is still investigating the matter, the DoJ says.