Nexus Technologies of Phila. pleads guilty in Vietnam corrupt payments case; sentenced

Mar 16, 2010. Export company Nexus Technologies Inc. pleaded guilty Tuesday to participating in a conspiracy to bribe Vietnamese government officials, federal prosecutors said.

The Philadelphia-based company found potential U.S. suppliers for goods the Vietnamese government wanted to purchase, including underwater mapping equipment, bomb-containment equipment, helicopter parts, chemical detectors, satellite communication parts and air-tracking systems.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia said Nexus and three brothers who worked at the company have “admitted that from 1999 to 2008 they agreed to pay, and knowingly paid, bribes in excess of $ 250,000 to Vietnamese government officials in exchange for contracts.”

The brothers, Nam Nguyen, 54, of Houston and Vietnam; Kim Nguyen, 41, of Philadelphia; and An Nguyen, 34, of Philadelphia. have pleaded guilty to conspiracy, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations and other charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. One of their partners, Joseph T. Lukas, has also pleaded guilty to conspiracy and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations. Nexus faces a fine of up to $ 27 million, the prosecutor’s office said. Nam and An Nguyen face up to 35 years in prison. Kim Nguyen faces up to 30 years and the maximum sentence for Lukas would be 10 years, according to the prosecutor’s office.

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U.S. Department of Justice Press Release, Mar 16, 2010.

Former Nexus Technologies Inc. Employees and Partner Sentenced for Roles in Foreign Bribery Scheme Involving Vietnamese Officials
Company Ordered to Turn Over Assets to Court, Cease All Operations

WASHINGTON, Sep 16, 2010. Three former employees and a partner of Nexus Technologies Inc. (Nexus) were sentenced for their roles in a conspiracy to bribe officials of the Vietnamese government in exchange for lucrative contracts to supply equipment and technology to Vietnamese government agencies, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

The president and owner of the company, Nam Nguyen, was sentenced to 16 months in prison and ordered to serve two years of supervised release following the prison term. His sibling, An Nguyen, was sentenced to nine months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. His other sibling, Kim Nguyen, was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay a $20,000 fine. Joseph Lukas, a former partner with Nexus, also was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.

Nexus; Nam Nguyen, 54, of Houston and Vietnam; Kim Nguyen, 41, of Philadelphia; and An Nguyen, 34, of Philadelphia, were charged in a superseding indictment on Oct. 30, 2009, with conspiracy, violations of the FCPA, violations of the Travel Act in connection with commercial bribes, and money laundering. Nexus pleaded guilty on March 16, 2010, to all the charges filed against the company in the superseding indictment, and agreed to cease operations and dissolve.

According to court documents, Nexus was a privately-owned export company that identified U.S. vendors for contracts opened for bid by the Vietnamese government and other companies operating in Vietnam to purchase a wide variety of equipment and technology, including underwater mapping equipment, bomb containment equipment, helicopter parts, chemical detectors, satellite communication parts and air tracking systems. Nam Nguyen negotiated the contracts and bribes with the Vietnamese government agencies and employees. Kim Nguyen, vice president of the company, oversaw the U.S. operations and handled finances. An Nguyen identified U.S. vendors to supply the goods needed to fulfill the contracts.

In connection with the guilty pleas, Nexus and the Nguyens admitted that from 1999 to 2008 they agreed to pay, and knowingly paid, bribes to Vietnamese government officials in exchange for contracts with the agencies and companies for which the bribe recipients worked. The bribes were falsely described as “commissions” in the company’s records. In pleading guilty, the corporation, Nexus, also acknowledged that it operated primarily through criminal means and agreed to cease operations.

U.S. Department of Justice Press Release, Sep 16, 2010.