Italian Executive Extradited from Germany to the US; Faces Foreign Bribery Charges

Italian citizen Flavio Ricotti, a former executive of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.-based valve company Control Components Inc. (CCI), has been extradited to the United States from Germany in connection with his alleged participation in a conspiracy to secure contracts by paying bribes to officials of foreign state-owned companies as well as officers and employees of foreign and domestic private companies. Ricotti, 49, of Bientina, Italy, was arrested on Feb. 14, 2010, in Frankfurt, Germany, and arrived in the United States on July 2, 2010.

Ricotti and five other former executives of CCI were charged on April 8, 2009, in a 16-count indictment for their alleged roles in the foreign bribery scheme. According to the indictment, Ricotti, who served as CCI’s vice president and head of sales for Europe, Africa and the Middle East from 2001 through 2007, allegedly caused CCI employees and agents to make payments totaling approximately $750,000 to officers and employees of state-owned companies, and payments totaling approximately $380,000 to officers and employees of private companies. Allegedly, these payments occurred in connection with CCI projects in various countries around the world, including in the United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, India and Qatar. 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.

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. Trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 2, 2010.

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. The conspiracy count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of the greater of $250,000 or twice the value gained or lost. The FCPA count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of the greater of $100,000 or twice the value gained or lost. The Travel Act counts each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of the greater of $250,000 or twice the pecuniary gain or loss.

An indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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