Entry for September 06, 2008
4 people, local firm in Vietnam bribery case
Four people and a local company have been indicted on charges of giving $150,000 in bribes to Vietnamese officials in return for contracts to supply equipment and technology – including bomb-containment equipment and helicopter parts.
Nam Quoc Nguyen, 52, of Houston; Joseph T. Lukas, 59, of Smithville, N.J.; Kim Anh Nguyen, 39, of Philadelphia; and An Quoc Nguyen, 32, of Philadelphia, were named in the indictment, which was unsealed today, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia.
The Nguyens are siblings. Authorities said they did not have lawyers as of Friday afternoon, and they did not respond to a message left at their office.
Nexus Technologies Inc., which was incorporated in Delaware, has an office in South Philadelphia and Vietnam. An office in Galloway, N.J., closed in 2005.
The company purchased the equipment and technology, including underwater mapping equipment, bomb-containment equipment, helicopter parts, chemical detectors, satellite communication parts, and air-tracking systems, for export to Vietnam, according to acting U.S. Attorney Laurie Magid, acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich, and FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Janice Fedarcyk.
Those acts are alleged to have taken place from about 1999 to May 2008, involving the commercial branches of Vietnam’s Ministries of Transport, Industry and Public Safety, among others, according to the news release.
Nam Quoc Nguyen, who authorities said was the company founder and president, is accused of negotiating the contracts and bribes with the Vietnamese government officials, while Lukas is accused of negotiating with U.S. vendors.
Kim Anh Nguyen and An Quoc Nguyen are accused of arranging the transfer of funds under instructions from Nam Quoc Nguyen.
“According to the indictment, these defendants incorporated bribes as a business practice, even referring to them as ‘commissions’ in order to secure business,” Magid said in the release.
If convicted of all charges, Nam Quoc Nguyen faces a maximum sentence of 25 years and a $650,000 fine; Lukas faces a maximum of 10 years and a $350,000 fine; Kim Anh Nguyen faces a maximum of 20 years and a $550,000 fine; and An Quoc Nguyen faces a maximum of 5 years and a $250,000 fine, according to the release.
Nexus Technologies faces a maximum possible fine of $10 million, authorities said.