Two providers of foreign-language training services, Comprehensive Language Center Inc. (CLCI) and Berlitz Languages Inc., admitted that they took part in a conspiracy to defraud the federal government by “impeding, impairing, obstructing, and defeating competitive bidding” for a multi-million dollar foreign-language training contract issued by the National Security Agency in 2017, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division has announced. “The actions of these companies corrupted the competitive bidding process put into place by the NSA for vital language training services,” according to the DOJ, which said the action demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to fighting corruption that damages fair competition.
The Antitrust Division announced deferred prosecution agreements in which Berlitz and CLCI admitted to participating in the conspiracy, agreed to cooperate fully with any related criminal investigation and prosecution, and agreed to maintain a compliance and ethics program designed to prevent and detect violations such as the one charged. Berlitz also agreed to pay a $147,000 criminal penalty and CLCI agreed to pay a $140,000 criminal penalty. Both companies agreed that they were jointly and severally liable to pay $56,984 in victim compensation to the NSA.
Editor’s Note: Read our article titled Finding & Fighting Anticompetitive Schemes: Avoiding the Big Squeeze.