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Disclaimer: The corruption cases databases are a product of the staff of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank. It is intended for general information purposes only. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in the Database do not necessarily reflect the views of the Executive Directors of The World Bank or the governments they represent. The World Bank does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this work. Neither the World Bank Group nor its officers or employees shall be liable for any losses that may result directly or indirectly from the use of or reliance upon such information.

Alcatel-Lucent / Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) (Costa Rica Settlement Case)

Jurisdiction of Origin : 
Position of Public Officials/Persons (Years in Office): 
President Miguel Angel Rodriguez (1998-2002) and other public officials, including Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad representatives
Jurisdiction of Recovery Effort / Asset Location: 
Jurisidction of Asset Recovery - Description: 
Asset Location / Alleged Asset Location
Recovery Start (Year): 
2004
Recovery End (Year): 
2010
UNCAC Offenses Implicated: 
Money laundering Implicated?: 
Yes
Status of Asset Recovery : 
Completed
Assets Returned (USD): 
$10,000,000
Disposition of Criminal Case(s): 

On April 28, 2011, former Costa Rican President Miguel Angel Rodriguez (1998-2002) was convicted and sentenced to five years' imprisonment for his role in the Alcatel bribery case. (Sources: Samuel Rubenfeld, "Former Costa Rican President Sentenced to Prison over Alcatel Bribery," Wall Street Journal Corruption Currents Blog, April 28, 2011; Indictment/La Acusacion de la Fiscalia posted at http://www.nacion.com/Generales/Subsitios/Sucesos/2010/ICEALCATEL.aspx).

Summary: 

A copy of the Settlement Agreement between the Government of Costa Rica and Alcatel-Lucent was filed by the US Government as part of its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act case against Alcatel. (Source: US v. Alcatel-Lucent France S.A., et al, Case No. 1:10-cr-20906 (S.D.Fla.) and US v. Alcatel-Lucent, S.A., Case No. 1:10-cr-20907 (S.D.Fla), Government's Response to ICE's Petition for Victim Status and Restitution filed May 23, 2011, Exhibit 1: SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN ALCATEL-LUCENT FRANCE, AND THE OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE REPUBLIC, ON BEHALF OF THE COSTA RICAN STATE RELATING TO THE CIVIL RECOVERY ACTION INCLUDED IN CRIMINAL CASE 04-6835-647-PEA). According to a statement on its website, Alcatel-Lucent noted that it had entered into an agreement with the Costa Rican authorities to pay $10 million to settle civil claims in a corruption case in which it was alleged that the company had paid kickbacks to public officials, political parties and officials of the state-owned telecom company in return for a 2001 contract worth $149 million to supply cellular telephone equipment. The statement notes the company's earlier settlement with the U.S. authorities and continuing investigation by France. (Source: "Alcatel-Lucent, September 2010: A responsible behaviour - Controversies" posted at the company's website at http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/csr/htm/en/pdf/Controversies_Costa_Rica.pdf). One of the alleged officials who received the kickbacks is former Costa Rican president Miguel Angel Rodriguez. (Source: Acusacion de la Fiscalia, posted at http://www.nacion.com/Generales/Subsitios/Sucesos/2010/ICEALCATEL.aspx) According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the case marks the first time in Costa Rica's history that a foreign corporation has agreed to pay the government damages for corruption. (Source: U.S. Department of Justice Press Release, "Alcatel-Lucent S.A. and Three Subsidiaries Agree to Pay $92 Million to Resolve Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Investigation," December 27, 2010.)

Contributing Factors in Asset Recovery: 
According to a U.S. Department of Justice Press Release, "The settlement marked the first time in Costa Rica's history that a foreign corporation agreed to pay the government damages for corruption." (Source: U.S. Department of Justice Press Release, "Alcatel-Lucent S.A. and Three Subsidiaries Agree to Pay $92 Million to Resolve Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Investigation," December 27, 2010.); Concept of "Social Damages" as basis for monetary damages first applied by Costa Rica in this case. (Source: Transparency International Blog, Ahernandez, "Can bribes paid by private firms cause 'social damage'?" January 26, 2010 at http://blog.transparency.org/2010/01/26/can-bribes-paid-by-private-firms-cause-%E2%80%9Csocial-damage%E2%80%9D/.)
Agreement / Arrangement re: Returned Assets?: 
No
Agreement / Arrangment re: Returned Assets (Explanation): 
NA
Intl Cooperation Mechanism: MLAT/Letter of Request: 
No
Basis for Intl Cooperation Mechanism: 
NA
Investigating Agency (JO): 
Unknown
ProsecAuth/Civil Atty (JO): 
Office of the Attorney General and Prosecutor's Office (Costa Rica)
Courts Involved (JO): 
Unknown
Investigative Agency (JAR): 
Unknown
ProsecAuth/Civil Atty (JAR): 
Unknown
Courts Involved (JAR): 
Unknown
Sources : 

La Acusacion de la Fiscalia, posted at http://www.nacion.com/Generales/Subsitios/Sucesos/2010/ICEALCATEL.aspx; U.S. Department of Justice Press Release, "Alcatel-Lucent S.A. and Three Subsidiaries Agree to Pay $92 Million to Resolve Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Investigation," December 27, 2010, accessed at http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2010/December/10-crm-1481.html; "Alcatel-Lucent, September 2010: A responsible behaviour - Controversies" posted at the company's website at http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/csr/htm/en/pdf/Controversies_Costa_Rica.pdf; UK Anti-Corruption Forum, February 2010 Newsletter, posted at http://www.anticorruptionforum.org.uk/acf/upload/newsletters/2010-02.pdf); Transparency International Blog, Ahernandez, "Can bribes paid by private firms cause 'social damage'?" January 26, 2010 at http://blog.transparency.org/2010/01/26/can-bribes-paid-by-private-firms... US v. Alcatel-Lucent France S.A., et al, Case No. 1:10-cr-20906 (S.D.Fla.) and US v. Alcatel-Lucent, S.A., Case No. 1:10-cr-20907 (S.D.Fla), Government's Response to ICE's Petition for Victim Status and Restitution filed May 23, 2011, Exhibit 1: SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN ALCATEL-LUCENT FRANCE, AND THE OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE REPUBLIC, ON BEHALF OF THE COSTA RICAN STATE RELATING TO THE CIVIL RECOVERY ACTION INCLUDED IN CRIMINAL CASE 04-6835-647-PEA