A former president and chief executive of a U.S. unit of Lufthansa Group pleaded guilty Thursday to U.S. foreign bribery charges.
Bernd Kowalewski, the former head of Tulsa, Olka.-based BizJet International Sales and Support Inc., admitted to his role in a scheme to pay bribes to officials in Mexico and Panama in exchange for their assistance in securing contracts for BizJet to perform aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services, prosecutors said. He pleaded guilty to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, as well as conspiracy.
“While Kowalewski and his fellow executives referred to the corrupt payments as ‘commissions’ and ‘incentives,’ they were bribes, plain and simple. Though he was living abroad when the charges were unsealed, the reach of the law extends beyond U.S. borders,” said Leslie Caldwell, an assistant attorney general, in a statement.
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