Germany extradites Italian executive to US for bribing Indian firms

Flavio Ricotti, 49, a former executive of California-based valve company Control Components Inc. (CCI), was arrested on Feb 14 in Frankfurt, Germany, and arrived in the US July 2, 2010, the Department of Justice announced.

Ricotti and five other former executives of CCI were charged April 8, 2009, in a 16-count indictment for their alleged roles in the foreign bribery scheme in connection with CCI projects in India, the United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, Qatar and various other countries around the world.

According to court documents, the valve company designs and manufactures service control valves for use in the nuclear, oil and gas, and power generation industries worldwide. But court documents revealed no names of the companies involved.

At the State Department, spokesman Mark Toner declined to comment saying he was not familiar with the case and the department does not discuss extradition requests.

The indictment charges Ricotti, who served as CCI's vice president and head of sales for Europe, Africa and the Middle East from 2001 through 2007, with allegedly causing  CCI employees and agents to make corrupt payments totalling approximately $750,000 to officers and employees of state-owned companies, and corrupt payments totalling approximately $380,000 to officers and employees of private companies.

The other five former CCI executives also charged are Stuart Carson, CCI's former chief executive officer; Hong (Rose) Carson, CCI's former director of sales for China and Taiwan; Paul Cosgrove, CCI's former director of worldwide sales; David Edmonds, CCI's former vice president of worldwide customer service; and Han Yong Kim, the former president of CCI's Korean office.

The trial is scheduled to begin Nov 2.

Ricotti is charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the  Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the Travel Act, one count of violating the FCPA, and three counts of violating the Travel Act.

All counts carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison each and a fine of the greater of $250,000 or twice the value gained or lost.

In related cases, two defendants previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe officers and employees of foreign state-owned companies on behalf of CCI.

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