Ex-Bechtel exec gets 3-1/2 years in prison for taking $5.2M in kickbacks
Asem Elgawhary - Photo courtesy of LinkedIn.com

A former executive at Bechtel Corp was sentenced to 3-1/2 years in prison on Monday for accepting $5.2 million in kickbacks for state-run power contracts in Egypt.

Asem Elgawhary, who lives in Maryland but was a general manager at a joint venture Bechtel ran with Egypt’s state-owned electricity company, pleaded guilty in early December to taking the kickbacks from three power companies.

One of those power companies, Alstom S.A. and its Swiss unit, pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a $772.3 million fine in late December to settle U.S. criminal charges that it funneled millions of dollars in bribes through sham consultants to win business around the world.

Elgawhary, a dual U.S. and Egyptian citizen, was also ordered at his sentencing by U.S. District Judge Deborah Chasanow in Greenbelt, Maryland, to give up the $5.2 million he made through his illegal actions.

A lawyer for Elgawhary did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Elgawhary, 73, had admitted he tried to hide the scheme by routing the payments to offshore bank accounts, including some in Switzerland.

The charges he pleaded guilty to included mail fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and obstruction and interference with the administration of the tax laws.

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