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US Coal Company VP Arrested and Charged with FCPA, Money Laundering and Wire Fraud Violations

The Justice Department announced the arrest and indictment of Charles Hunter Hobson for violating the FCPA, money laundering and receiving kickbacks arising from a bribery scheme to pay government officials in Egypt in exchange for contracts for coke and chemicals with Al Nasr, an Egyptian state-owned company.

Last year, Frederick Cushmore, the former VP and head of International Sales at Corsa Coal Corporation, pleaded guilty to FCPA conspiracy arising out of his sales activities with Al Nasr. Cushmore appears to have cooperated in the investigation and prosecution of Hobson.

Hobson participated in the illegal scheme between late 2016 and early 2020. Hobson was the Vice President of Corsa Coal Corporation and responsible for the business relationship with Al Nasr.  Hobson served in a variety of positions from 2013 to 2018. 

Hobson, Cushmore and a third-party intermediary, paid bribes to Al Nasr officials in Egypt to earn approximately $143 million in coal contacts.  Al Nasr purchased coal in 13 separate transactions with the assistance of a third-party intermediary working on behalf of Hobson, Cushmore and Corsa Coal.  The third-party intermediary was an Egyptian national, who received $4.8 million in commissions for the coal sold to al Nasr.  The intermediary passed on bribery payments to an Al Nasr senior executive and other Egyptian government officials.

Cushmore and the third-party agent used encrypted messaging service to arrange the bribery payments.  Cushmore also obtained early access to non-public information about competitive bids for contracts with Al Nasr.

The corrupt commission payments were transferred from a US bank account to a UAE bank account.  Hobson secretly took a portion of the commissions paid to the third-party sales intermediary.

Hobson is charged with one count of FCPA conspiracy, two substantive counts of FCPA violations, two counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Hobson was arrested in Tennessee.

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