The former CEO and chief operations officer of a Monaco-based
intermediary company have pleaded guilty for their roles in a scheme
to corruptly facilitate millions of dollars in bribe payments to
officials in multiple countries.
These included Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, the Democratic Republic of
Congo, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Libya, and Syria.
The company’s former business development director also pleaded guilty
for his role in paying bribes in Libya.
Cyrus Ahsani, 51, and Saman Ahsani, 46, both of United Kingdom (UK),
each pleaded guilty March 25 to one count of conspiracy to violate the
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), for conspiring to facilitate
bribes on behalf of companies in foreign countries in order to secure
oil and gas contracts.
UK resident Steven Hunter, 50, former business development director,
pleaded guilty August 2, 2018, to one count of conspiracy to violate
Cyrus and Saman Ahsani are set for sentencing April 20, 2020, before
U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore of the Southern District of Texas.
Hunter’s sentencing is scheduled for March 13, 2020, before U.S.
District Judge David Hittner.
According to court documents, former U.S. resident and CEO Cyrus
Ahsani and former COO Saman Ahsani managed a Monaco-based intermediary
company that provided services for multinational companies operating
in the energy sector.
From approximately 1999 to 2016, the Ahsanis conspired with others,
including multiple companies and individuals, to make millions of
dollars in bribe payments to government officials in Algeria, Angola,
Azerbaijan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan,
Libya, and Syria.
Additionally, court documents reflect Cyrus and Saman Ahsani laundered
the proceeds of their bribery scheme in order to promote and conceal
the schemes and to cause the destruction of evidence in order to
obstruct investigations in the United States and elsewhere.
Hunter participated in the conspiracy to violate the FCPA by, among
other things, facilitating bribe payments to Libyan officials between
about 2009 and 2015.
The FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigation and U.S. Postal Inspection Service
conducted the investigation. Trial Attorneys Dennis R. Kihm, Gerald M.
Moody Jr., Jonathan P. Robell and Gwendolyn A. Stamper of the Criminal
Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Elmilady
of the Southern District of Texas are prosecuting the case.
The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs also provided
substantial assistance in this matter.
The governments of Australia, Canada, France, Guernsey, Italy, Monaco,
the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, and UK provided significant
assistance in the matter as did the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission and Eurojust.