Commissions and consulting fees. That's what Grapevine-based Dallas Airmotive called the bribes it paid to military officers and government officials in Brazil, Argentina and Peru to keep its maintenance contracts for those countries' military planes. Many of the payments were for small amounts like $3,000 or $5,000, the biggest was $35,000 paid to two Brazilian Air Force officers. Other benefits, like paid vacations, were also passed out.
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The payments were funneled through three front companies, but the feds discovered an email trail connecting the bribes to managers at Dallas Airmotive and its Brazilian affiliate, Dallas Airmotive Brazil
Wednesday, the federal government charged the company with conspiring to break the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and breaking the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. As part of a deferred prosecution agreement, Dallas Airmotive admitted to the bribery and has agreed to pay $14 million in fines.
A Dallas Airmotive spokesman gave us the following statement:
"Ethical and legal compliance are core values of Dallas Airmotive, and we are firmly committed to upholding the high standards articulated in our Code of Business Ethics. We regret that those standards were breached by a limited number of third-party agents and employees of Dallas Airmotive's business in South America from 2008-2012. These individuals are no longer with the company, and Dallas Airmotive do Brasil and our South American sales team are operating under new leadership.
The DOJ has acknowledged our substantial cooperation with its investigation. The DOJ has also recognized the improvements we have made to date in our compliance and control programs, and our commitment to further enhancements. We continually look for ways to further improve in these important areas to ensure we uphold our high standards of conduct, which are fundamental to the way we operate."