BizJet bribery scheme revealed

April 6, 2013 at 2:25 AM   |   0 comments

WASHINGTON, April 5 (UPI) -- Charges unsealed Friday in Washington reveal former executives of BizJet International Sales and Support Inc. took part in an international bribery scheme.

The U.S. Justice Department said two of the BizJet executives have pleaded guilty and were sentenced Friday in Oklahoma. The other two remain at large.

BizJet, a U.S. subsidiary of the German corporation Lufthansa Technik AG, provides aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services.

The four former BizJet executives -- Bernd Kowalewski, who was president and chief executive officer; Jald Jensen, former sales manager; Peter DuBois, former vice president of sales and marketing; and Neal Uhl, former vice president of finance -- are accused of paying bribes to officials employed by the Mexican Policia Federal Preventiva, the Mexican Coordinacion General de Transportes Aereos Presidenciales, the air fleet for the Gobierno del Estado de Sinaloa in Mexico, the air fleet for the Estado De Roraima in Brazil, and the Republica de Panama Autoridad Aeronautica Civil.

Acting Assistant U.S. Attorney General Mythili Raman and Valerie Parlave, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington field office, said the payments were to obtain officials' assistance in securing contracts for BizJet to perform MRO services.

Kowalewski and Jensen were indicted in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma Jan. 5, 2012, with conspiracy and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and laundering money. They are believed to remain abroad, the Justice Department said.

DuBois and Uhl pleaded guilty Jan. 5, 2012, to criminal informations, and their pleas were unsealed Friday. DuBois pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of violating the the corrupt practices act. Uhl pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy.

DuBois and Uhl were sentenced probation and eight months home detention Friday in Oklahoma based on their cooperation in the government's investigation.

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