Cartel Digest

USAID Construction

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USAID Construction

USAID Construction
  Overall Cartel Period 1988-1996
  Participants Bilhar International Establishment; ABB Middle East & Africa Participations AG; American International Contractors Inc.; Philipp Holzmann AG
  Total Fines (DOJ) $141 million
  Total Fines (EC) No fines imposed

In the late 1990s, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) commenced an investigation into the bidding process for funds tendered by the United States Agency for International Development (“USAID”).  USAID funds construction contracts worldwide for which companies place bids.  From May 1988 until September 1996, cartel members participated in discussions to control the bidding process for certain USAID-funded construction contracts for wastewater management in Egypt.  According to the DOJ, certain cartel members agreed to pay a “loser's fee” of several million dollars to other cartel members in exchange for their agreement to artificially inflate their bids or to refrain from submitting a bid at all.


Enforcement Highlights:

  • The DOJ imposed fines totaling over $140 million on four companies.
  • Elmore Roy Anderson, the former president and chief executive officer of Bilhar International Establishment, was sentenced to 36 months in prison, one of the longest prison sentences imposed by the DOJ. 
Company Conspiracy Period Fine (USD) Plea Date No. of Excluded Individuals Plea Agreement
Bilhar International Establishment 5/98-9/96 $54 million 02/04/2002 N/A  
ABB Middle East & Africa Participations AG 6/89-9/96 $53 million 04/11/2001 1 Plea Agreement
American International Contractors Inc. 6/88-1/95 $4.2 million 09/07/2000 N/A  
Philipp Holzmann AG 6/88-1/95 $30 million 08/18/2000 1 Plea Agreement