California man admits role commercial bribery scheme

The former head of worldwide sales at a Rancho Santa Margarita-based valve company pleaded guilty Tuesday to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

This is the law that prohibits U.S. citizens from giving bribes to foreign officials anywhere.

The man who pleaded guilty is Paul Cosgrove, 65, of Laguna Niguel. He was an executive vice president at Control Components. Inc. He entered his plea before U.S. District Judge James V. Selna to a one-count superseding information charging him with making a corrupt payment to a foreign government official in China in violation of the federal law.

Judge Selna is scheduled to sentence Cosgrove Aug. 27. He faces 15 months in federal prison.

According to court documents, the firm designed and manufactured service control valves for use in the nuclear, oil
and gas, and power generation industries worldwide.

On Apr. 8, 2009, Cosgrove and five other former executives of the firm were charged in a 16-count indictment for their roles in the foreign bribery scheme. In related cases, two defendants previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe officers and employees of foreign state-owned companies on behalf of Control Components, Inc.

On July 31, 2009, the firm itself pleaded guilty to a three-count criminal information charging the company with conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Control Components was ordered to pay an $18.2 million criminal fine, placed on organizational probation for three years, and ordered to create and implement a compliance program and retain an independent compliance monitor for three years. The firm admitted that from 2003 through 2007, it made corrupt payments in more than 30 countries, which resulted in net profits to the company of approximately $46.5 million from sales related to those corrupt payments.

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