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Former executive of a coal firm accused with FCPA offenses

The Department of Justice stated Thursday that a former coal company executive was detained on allegations of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), money laundering, and taking kickbacks in an alleged bribery conspiracy in Egypt.

Between late 2016 and early 2020, according to the indictment, Charles Hunter Hobson participated in a plot to pay bribes to Egyptian government officials in connection with contracts with the Egyptian state-owned and state-controlled firm Al Nasr Company for Coke and Chemicals (Al Nasr).

Hobson spent a portion of that period as vice president of an undisclosed coal firm in Pennsylvania, where he was in charge of the company's commercial dealings with Al Nasr. According to the Justice Department, he and others, including the unidentified company's sales middleman, reportedly paid bribes to Al Nasr authorities in Egypt in exchange for around $143 million in coal contracts.

“Hobson and others caused the company to pay commissions to the sales intermediary, who passed on bribes to Al Nasr officials in exchange for the coal contracts, and transfer the corrupt commission payments from a bank account in the United States to a bank account in the United Arab Emirates,” the Justice Department stated. Additionally, the indictment alleges that Hobson plotted to obtain a part of the commissions in the form of kickbacks.

Hobson is charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA, two counts of breaching the FCPA, one count of money laundering, two charges of money laundering, and one count of conspiracy to conduct wire fraud (one). Each bribery accusation has a maximum penalty of five years in jail, while money laundering and wire fraud crimes bring a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison.



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