On June 29, 2009, Joseph Lukas, a former executive of Nexus Technologies Inc. (“Nexus”), pleaded guilty to a two count indictment charging him with a substantive FCPA charge for making improper payments, as well as conspiracy to make improper payments, to Vietnamese government officials in exchange for several lucrative government contracts. 30 According to court documents, Nexus, a privately owned export company, identified U.S. vendors to purchase items for Vietnamese buyers, including underwater mapping and bomb containment equipment, helicopter parts, satellite communication parts and air tracking systems. Lukas was responsible for overseeing the negotiation of contracts with suppliers in the United States. Lukas admitted that, between 1999 and 2005, he conspired with other employees to make, and knowingly made, illegal payments to officials from the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Industry, and Ministry of Public Safety to obtain contracts in order to supply them with the necessary equipment and technology. The indictment further alleged that the payments were falsely described as “commissions” in Nexus’ books and records.31
Lukas was arrested in September 2008 after being indicted by a federal grand jury on these charges, along with the company and alleged coconspirators Nam Nguyen, Kim Nguyen and An Nguyen. Lukas faces a maximum of ten years in prison at sentencing, which is scheduled for April 6, 2010. Charges are pending against the company and remaining defendants and trial is scheduled for March 2010 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
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