Officials of multiple Vietnamese government agencies, including the commercial branches of Vietnam's Ministries of Transport, Industry, and Public Safety
According to the indictment, Nexus Technologies Inc. ("Nexus"), a privately-held Delaware company, allegedly purchased a wide variety of equipment and technology, including underwater mapping equipment, bomb containment equipment, helicopter parts, chemical detectors, satellite communication parts, and air tracking systems, for export to agencies of the government of Vietnam. From approximately 1999 through 2008, the defendants allegedly engaged in a conspiracy to pay Vietnamese government officials bribes totaling at least $150,000 to secure lucrative contracts for Nexus. Customers are alleged to have included multiple Vietnamese government agencies, including the commercial branches of Vietnam's Ministries of Transport, Industry, and Public Safety.
On September 4, 2008, Nexus and the individual defendants were indicted by a federal grand jury in Philadelphia on one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and four substantive counts of violating the FCPA. On October 8, 2008, Nam Nguyen, the founder and president of Nexus, pleaded not guilty on behalf of Nexus. On November 20, 2008, the Court issued an Order for a Complex Criminal Case Designation, waiving the time limitations required under the Speedy Trial Act due to the complexity of the case and the quantity of evidence, particularly electronic evidence such as USB drives and CPU towers, to be reviewed.
On June 29, 2009, one of the defendants, Joseph Lukas, pleaded guilty in connection with his participation in the conspiracy to bribe Vietnamese government officials. Lukas admitted that from 1999 to 2005, he and other employees of Nexus agreed to pay, and knowingly paid, bribes to Vietnamese government officials in exchange for contracts with the agencies for which the officials worked. The bribes were falsely described as "commissions" in the company's records. His sentencing is currently scheduled for April 6, 2010.
On October 29, 2009, the government entered a superseding indictment against the remaining individual defendants and Nexus, adding charges of conspiracy to violate the Travel Act and to launder money, nine substantive counts of violating the Travel Act, nine substantive counts of money laundering, and five additional counts of violating the FCPA. On March 16, 2010, Nexus, Nam Nguyen, Kim Nguyen, and An Nguyen pleaded guilty to conspiracy, money laundering, and violating the FCPA. All but Kim Nguyen also pleaded guilty to violating the federal Travel Act. As part of the plea, Nexus agreed to cease operations in the U.S. and Vietnam within 90 days.
In September, 2010, Nexus and the other defendants were sentenced. Nexus was placed on 1 year probation and fined $11,200, as well as to cease operations and dissolve.