Four weeks ago, a bribery case that had dragged on for years between the German engineering giant Siemens and the Greek government came to an end, with the company agreeing to pay a $336 million fine to settle the charges.
This week, Siemens is back doing business with Athens.
The company won a $54 million contract for the Athens subway on favorable terms. The contract covers signals and components for a 12-mile extension of the Athens’ subway system, which is going ahead amid a raft of austerity measures tied to the European bailout of Greek’s struggling economy.
Despite the Greek government’s financial woes, Siemens won’t have to worry about getting paid: The European Union is on board to fund more than 70 percent its cost.
Siemens is no stranger to corruption charges: it has had to pay over $1.3 billion in fines in the U.S. and Germany over bribery allegations.
Next stop for Leona Beldini, former deputy mayor of Jersey City, NJ: Carswell Prison in Fort Worth, Texas.
A federal judge has upheld his earlier conviction of Beldini for bribery. After many delays, Beldini is now due to report to Carswell by Sunday.
Beldini, who was arrested in a famous FBI corruption sting that brought down some 40 politicians and government officials in New Jersey in 2009, has repeatedly sought to avoid reporting to serve a three-year sentence.
A jury convicted Beldini in February 2010 of accepting two $10,000 contributions from an FBI informant, Solomon Dwek, in exchange for promising swift government approval of his real estate deals.
In her last, and final, attempt to avoid prison, Beldini’s lawyer argued that Dwek had used the words “corrupt” and “corruption” some 48 times, and the word “bribery” 37 times, during his testimony at Beldini’s trial, poisoning the minds of jurors weighing her guilt or innocence. The words were subsequently barred from testimony in the trials of other defendants nabbed in the FBI sting.
But Judge Jose Linares ruled that Beldini’s attorney at the time had failed to raise any objection to Dwek’s language, and that it was not up to the judge to police witness testimony.
No, it’s not advance p.r. for the upcoming Three Stooges film.
But the bosses of three of Slovenia’s largest construction firms apparently fell over each other bribing a former civil servant, in their bids to win a $26 million public contract for a new air traffic control tower at Ljubljana Airport.
Ivan Zidar, Dusan Crnigoj and Hilda Tovsak, the construction bosses, were recorded in telephone conversations attempting to bribe the civil servant in charge of the public bidding process. The three offered to give a relative of Tomaz Zibert, the official, a cut of the contract along with other special favors.
Zibert, now serving 30 months in prison for corruption, had apparently promised each of the three that they would get the contract.
The construction bosses face fines of $13,000 to $15,000, and 17 months in prison. They have vowed to appeal.