Former Sugar Land manager charged with bribing Mexican officials

The former head of a Sugar Land electric equipment business has been indicted and arrested for taking part in a scheme to bribe Mexican government officials to secure work with that country’s state-owned electric utility.
John Joseph O’Shea, 57, currently of Pleasanton, Calif., was charged in an 18-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Houston last week.
According to the indictment O’Shea and a Mexican business man, Fernando Maya Basurto, 47, conspired to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars to four officials with the Comisión Federal de Electridad in 2004. The men coordinated payments to shell companies in Mexico and a bank account in Germany, which were then passed on to the Mexican officials. In one case a payment was made directly to a U.S. military school to pay the tuition for one of the official’s sons.
In exchange O’Shea’s firm was given contracts worth millions of dollars to improve the operations of Mexico’s high voltage transmission backbone.
The indictment does not name O’Shea’s company, but a number of press releases and news reports mention a John J. O’Shea as manager of the U.S. based unit of Swiss equipment and software maker ABB Group up through 2004.
O’Shea was fired by his employer in 2004, according to the indictment. When he learned the company was sharing information about the alleged bribes with Federal investigators O’Shea and Basurto began creating false documents to cover up the illegal nature of their payments.
Basurto pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy on Nov. 16 before U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes in Houston, according to a Department of Justice statement. “In his plea, Basurto admitted that while he acted as a sales representative for O’Shea’s business unit, he conspired with others to make corrupt payments to CFE officials, helped launder the bribe monies, and engaged in a cover up to obstruct the investigations of the Department of Justice and the SEC,” the statement says.
“Basurto also admitted that he submitted false invoices and helped fabricate correspondence in contemplation of federal investigations into the bribery. As part of his plea agreement, Basurto has agreed to cooperate with the Department of Justice in its ongoing investigation.”
Here’s a copy of the indictment:
2009 Nov Indictment John OShea

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