U.S. authorities are investigating whether payments by Raytheon Technologies Corp. to a consultant for the Qatar Armed Forces may have been bribes intended for a member of the country’s ruling royal family, according to people familiar with the matter.
A lawsuit in California, dismissed last year on jurisdictional grounds, included allegations that Raytheon had funnelled around 7 million Qatari riyals, the equivalent of $1.9 million, in payoffs through Digital Soula Systems, a Doha, Qatar-based defense and security consulting firm that was part-owned by a brother of the country’s emir.
The lawsuit, filed in 2019 by a former Digital Soula Systems director who claimed the QAF had failed to pay for work the consulting firm did on a defense procurement contract, led to inquiries by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Justice Department, the people familiar with the matter said.
The SEC began making inquiries into the lawsuit’s bribery allegations in the months after it was filed, according to one of the people familiar with the matter. The DOJ soon followed suit, the person added. The agencies share authority to enforce the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits companies from paying bribes to foreign public officials to gain a business advantage and requires companies to maintain controls to prevent such payments.
The original full article can be found at wsj.com
(PHOTO: KACPER PEMPEL/REUTERS)