On November 8, 2012, Judge James Selna (C.D. Cal.) sentenced Stuart Carson, former CEO of Control Components Inc. (“CCI”), and his wife, Hong Rose Carson, the company’s former sales director, for their roles in the company’s violation of the FCPA and Travel Act.
In 2009, CCI pleaded guilty to a three-count criminal information that charged two counts of violating the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA and one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and Travel Act. CCI violated the FCPA by making corrupt payments totaling approximately US$4.9 million to officers and employees of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) – “foreign officials” under the FCPA – in China, South Korea, UAE and Malaysia for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. CCI generated approximately US$31.7 million in net profits as a result of these corrupt payments.
In April 2012, the Carsons in turn pleaded guilty to separate one-count superseding informations charging them with violating the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA.
Mr. Carson was sentenced to four months in prison to be followed by eight months of home detention and was ordered to pay a $20,000 fine.
Ms. Carson received no prison time but was sentenced to three years probation, to include six months home confinement, was ordered to pay a $20,000 fine, and was ordered to complete 200 hours of community service. In its sentencing memorandum, the Court notably rejected the Department of Justice’s argument that Ms. Carson’s Chinese upbringing entitled her to a downward variance, observing that “[t]here is no cultural defense to the present crime or any other under black letter law.”