Asset Recovery Watch

ARW-14
Aluminum Bahrain B.S.C. / Alcoa Case (Private Civil Action)
Bahrain
Senior Officials of State Owned Entity (unnamed)
United States
Undertaking Recovery Effort, Location of Recovery Effort
2008
2013
Art.16, Art.18, Art.21
Yes
Private Civil Action
No
NA
Private civil action resulted in settlement agreement.
Completed
Assets Returned to Victim or Requesting Jurisdiction
No
NA

In October 2012, Alcoa Inc. announced that it had reached an $85 million settlement agreement with Aluminum Bahrain B.S.C. ("Alba"), a majority state owned enterprise to settle the civil suit that Alba had filed in 2008, in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against the U.S. company and related parties. (Source: Aluminum Bahrain B.S.C. v. Alcoa, Inc., et al, Case No. 2:08-cv-00299-DWA (W.D. Pa.), Stipulation of Dismissal with Prejudice, filed October 9, 2012; Alcoa Press Release, "Alcoa and Alba Resolve Civil Litigation," October 9, 2012.) In 2009, it filed a similar suit in the Southern District of Texas against the Japanese company Sojitz Corporation and its U.S. affiliate, Sojitz Corporation of America. Alba alleged that the companies paid bribes to one or more senior officials of Alba and the Government of Bahrain in order to induce Alba to cede a controlling interest in that company to Alcoa and to overpay for alumina and in the Sojitz case, to secure below-market discounts on aluminum. In filing the civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) suit against Alcoa, Alba sought damages in excess of $1 billion and in the Sojitz suit, $31 million in damages. According to Alcoa, the second of the two payments to Alba was completed in October 2013. (Source: Alcoa, Stakeholder Engagement, "Committed to Ongoing, Transparent Engagement," http://www.alcoa.com/sustainability/en/info_page/community_stakeholder.asp, accessed on July 27, 2014.)

The asset recovery resulted from a private civil action by the state owned entity. In related enforcement actions by the US, in January 2014, Alcoa entered into settlements with the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission which included a guilty plea to one count of violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. (Source: US Department of Justice Press Release, "Alcoa World Alumina Agrees to Plead Guilty to Foreign Bribery and Pay $223 Million in Fines and Forfeiture," January 9, 2014.)

Alcoa DOJ Enorcement: Federal Bureau of Investigation
Pennsylvania and Texas: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld LLP (Lead Attorneys Colleen M. Coyle, Lauren B. Kerwin, Mark J. MacDougall); Pennsylvania: Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC (Attorney Charles B. Gibbons); Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section; U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas