Akin Gump Secures Settlement Valued at $447 Million in First-Ever RICO Claim by Foreign Company
(Washington, D.C.) – Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has secured a settlement valued at $447 million for its client Aluminium Bahrain, B.S.C. (Alba), from U.S.- based Alcoa, Inc. The settlement arises out of a claim brought by Alba under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act against Alcoa, an Alcoa subsidiary and Canadian businessman Victor Dahdaleh in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Alba is one of the largest industrial companies in the Middle East and the fourth-largest aluminum smelter in the world.
The civil suit, first filed in February 2008, alleged a pattern of corrupt activities by the defendants and officials in Bahrain in order to obtain long-term contract and pricing advantages in the sale of raw materials. The case was stayed for nearly four years while the U.S. Department of Justice pursued a criminal investigation under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The settlement was reached following a June 11, 2012 decision by the court denying motions filed by Alcoa and the other defendants seeking dismissal of the suit.
Alba’s RICO claim represents the first time that a foreign-owned corporation has successfully sued a U.S. company in a federal court to recover losses suffered due to allegations of corrupt activity.
Alba’s civil case against Victor Dahdaleh, who is under indictment in the United Kingdom on related criminal charges, is expected to continue.
Mark J. MacDougall and Randy Teslik, partners in Akin Gump’s Washington office, led the team representing Alba in the litigation.
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