Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Alcatel reaches settlement in Costa Rica bribe scandal

January 3, 2011

French telecommunications company Alcatel-Lucent agreed to pay $137 million last week to settle a foreign bribery investigation spearheaded by the U.S. Justice Department over illegal payments made to Costa Rica, Honduras, Taiwan and Malaysia. Former Alcatel officials paid an estimated $9.6 million in bribes to Costa Rican officials, including former President Miguel Angel Rodríguez (1998-2002), from 2000 to 2004.

Alcatel’s international bribes, which earned the company an estimated $48.1 million, violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, investigators charged. The company will pay $92 million as penalty for the criminal suit and $45 million in civil damages to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  

Alcatel’s bribes in Costa Rica were used to obtain a contract with the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), the state-run telecommunications company. ICE awarded Alcatel a $149 million mobile telephone contract in August 2001 for 400,000 GSM cell phone lines. During that time, Alcatel allegedly paid bribes to several Costa Rican officials, including former ICE board member José Antonio Lobo and his wife, U.S. citizen Jean Gallup (TT, Oct. 8, 2004). Lobo admitted to receiving payments.  

Lobo also testified that ex-President Rodríguez accepted 40 percent of the bribe payments (TT, Oct. 15, 2004). Rodríguez served a five-month prison sentence in Costa Rica’s La Reforma penitentiary from November 2004 to March 2005.

“We take responsibility for and regret what happened and have implemented policies and procedures to prevent these violations from happening again,” said Steve Reynolds, Alcatel-Lucent general counsel, in a statement released last week. “The violations largely occurred prior to the merger of Alcatel and Lucent Technologies and involved improper activities in several countries. We are pleased to have reached these settlements and look forward to putting these matters behind us.”

You may be interested

Costa Rica allows reopening process for public parks and recreational facilities
Costa Rica
8 views
Costa Rica
8 views

Costa Rica allows reopening process for public parks and recreational facilities

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 27, 2020

Costa Rica will allow for the gradual reopening of public parks and certain recreational facilities, the Health Ministry and National…

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Tuesday, October 27
Costa Rica
5930 views
Costa Rica
5930 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Tuesday, October 27

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 27, 2020

Costa Rica announced 17 new coronavirus-related deaths over the last day for a total of 1,329, according to official data…

Clarifying the isolation requirement for Costa Rican citizens
Costa Rica
7 views
Costa Rica
7 views

Clarifying the isolation requirement for Costa Rican citizens

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 27, 2020

Last week, the Costa Rica Tourism Board announced that, as of October 26, citizens would no longer need to quarantine…