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Alcoa may have violated FCPA

Aluminum maker accused of paying millions in bribes to Bahrain exec and official

According to court documents recently filed in an ongoing Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) suit against Alcoa, the U.S.-based aluminum maker is now accused of possibly violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

In new court documents, Alba—a state-owned aluminum company in Bahrain—claims that Alcoa paid millions of dollars in bribes to an executive of Alba and a former Bahrain official in a scheme to secure contracts at inflated prices. According to the suit, Alcoa used shell companies owned by Canadian businessman Victor Dahdaleh as fronts for subsidiaries so it could sell alumina—a substance used to make aluminum—to Alba at increased prices. According to Alba, Alcoa garnered hundreds of millions of dollars in profits through the scheme. Alcoa denies wrongdoing.

“The latest filing is yet another recitation of the alleged misdeeds of Victor Dahdaleh and Bahraini officials,” an Alcoa spokesman told the Wall Street Journal. “Alba has mischaracterized any number of normal business transactions (like sending faxes and traveling to meetings) through overdrawn inferences and innuendo.”

Alba first filed suit against Alcoa in 2008, claiming the U.S.-based aluminum maker conspired to overcharge Alba for alumina. That case was reopened late last year

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Cathleen Flahardy

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