Two former executives of a California-based valve company each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to violate the FCPA. Mario Covino, the company’s director of worldwide sales, admitted that from March 2003 to August 2007 he caused valve company employees and agents to make approximately US$1 million in payments to vice presidents, managers and purchasing officers of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) – “foreign officials” under the FCPA – to assist in obtaining or retaining business. Richard Morlok, then finance director, admitted that he caused valve company employees and agents to make payments of approximately US$628,000 to officials (e.g., vice presidents, managers and purchasing officers) of numerous SOEs to assist in obtaining or retaining business from 2003 through 2006. Sentencing for both individuals is scheduled for later this year. Each faces a maximum of five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to US$250,000, or twice the pecuniary gain or loss resulting from the offense, whichever is greater. Covino and Morlok agreed to cooperate with the DOJ’s ongoing investigation. The valve company was referred to as an “unnamed co-conspirator” in the statement of facts attached to the plea agreements. To date, the valve company has not been indicted. However, six individuals that acted on its behalf have been indicted.