Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld helped to trigger a worldwide criminal probe back in 2008 when it accused the world’s leading producer of raw aluminum materials, Pittsburgh-based Alcoa Inc., of racketeering and fraud. On Tuesday, the firm beat prosecutors to the punch yet again, wresting a long-awaited settlement from Alcoa on behalf of client Aluminium Bahrain BSC.
Alcoa announced on Tuesday that it would pay Aluminium Bahrain BSC (Alba) $85 million in cash to settle civil claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Alcoa also said it will resume a long-running agreement to supply Alba with raw aluminum materials. In a statement, Alba valued that portion of Tuesday’s deal at $362 million. Alcoa, which is represented by Cravath Swaine & Moore and K&L Gates, will not admit any wrongdoing.
Alba, which is owned by the Bahrainian government, first brought suit in February 2008 in U.S. district court in Pittsburgh, alleging that a bribery scheme perpetuated by Alcoa officials and a billionaire businessman named Victor Dahdaleh had cost it more than $400 million. According to Alba’s complaint, in 1993 Alcoa hired Dahdaleh, a Canadian business magnate of Jordanian descent, to act as a middleman in negotiations with Alba. Alba claimed that Dahdaleh and a group of Alcoa officials paid more than $9 million in bribes to Alba employees and Bahraini officials. Those bribes supposedly caused Alba to overpay for materials and almost allowed Alcoa to gain a large stake in Alba at a discounted rate. Alba’s lawyers at Akin Gump pegged damages at $1 billion.