Securency staffer Christian Boillot sentenced for conspiring to offer a bribe, then released by court
Christian Boillot pleaded guilty to conspiring to offer a bribe to officials in Malaysia. (ABC News)
A key player in a wide-ranging corruption case involving subsidiaries of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail.
- Judge Elizabeth Hollingworth called the conspiracy sophisticated and carefully concealed
- However, she said Boillot was not a high-level staff member and not the architect of the scheme
- He pleaded guilty to conspiring to offer a bribe to foreign officials in Malaysia
But Christian Boillot, 67, was immediately released by the Supreme Court of Victoria under his “own recognisance”, which effectively suspends the sentence.
Last week he pleaded guilty to conspiring to offer a bribe to foreign officials in Malaysia.
The French and Australian dual citizen worked for Note Printing Australia and Securency, which were offshoots of the RBA responsible for designing and making plastic banknotes.
Boillot worked out of Kuala Lumpur and was involved in marketing Australian-style banknotes.
The court heard he was part of a conspiracy to bribe Malaysian officials between October 2001 and December 2003 via so-called “success-based commissions”.
Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth noted the conspiracy was “sophisticated, carefully orchestrated and concealed”.
But she said Boillot was “not a high-level staff member” and was not the architect of the scheme, and had not made high-level decisions about the practices.
The court heard Securency and Note Printing Australia had agreements with an agent in Malaysia who was paid $2.19 million in commissions after the Malaysian central bank put in an order for banknotes in December 2003.
She said the conspirators were “well aware that some money would offer benefits to one or more officials”.
“You participated in the conspiracy because there was a corporate culture where it was expected,” Justice Hollingworth said.
“You were well aware that what you and others were doing was illegal.”
The culture at Securency and Note Printing Australia was one of “secrecy, to deny all responsibility for wrongdoing”, Justice Hollingworth said.
Boillot was extradited from Germany and Justice Hollingworth acknowledged the anxiety he has experienced being away from his family and “living in a state of limbo for seven years”.
“Your career as a respected corporate officer has been destroyed by your own actions.”
Companies fined more than $21m
Boillot was one of the key players in the scandal, which also resulted in large fines for RBA subsidiaries Securency and Note Printing Australia (NPA), where he worked.
It was revealed last week the two subsidiaries were fined more than $21 million for offering bribes.
International bribery fines:
- NPA paid fines of $450,000 and a pecuniary penalty of $1,856,710
- Securency paid fines of $480,000 and a pecuniary penalty of $19,809,772
It could not be reported when the fines were handed down, in 2011 and 2012, because of non-publication court orders.
The players caught up in the bribery scandal went to the very top of the two companies and included:
- The former chief executive of Securency, Myles Curtis, who pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe foreign officials in Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as a false accounting charge, and was given a suspended sentence.
- Securency’s former chief financial officer, John Ellery, who pleaded guilty to cooking the books regarding a commission paid to a Securency sales agent in Malaysia, and was given a suspended sentence of six months’ jail in August 2012.
- A Securency manager, Clifford Gerathy, who pleaded guilty to false accounting and was given a three-month suspended sentence.
- The principal of a Securency agency business in Indonesia, Radius Christanto, who pleaded guilty to conspiring to pay kickbacks so Securency could do business with Bank Indonesia. He was given a suspended sentence of two years’ jail in 2013.
Securency, which made the plastic base for banknotes, was later sold by the RBA and is now known as CCL Secure.
It pleaded guilty to offering bribes to officials at the note-issuing authorities in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.
NPA produces Australia’s banknotes and passports with customers in New Zealand, Singapore, Mexico, Chile and Romania.
It pleaded guilty to attempting to bribe officials in Indonesia, Malaysia and Nepal.
The offences took place between 1999-2004.
A series of prosecutions linked to the scandal have been kept secret for the past seven years due to a series of long-running suppression orders.