Former Owner of Bucks County Financial Consulting Firm Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Bribing Foreign Official
The former owner and president of Chestnut Consulting Group Inc. and Chestnut Consulting Group Co. (the Chestnut Group) was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment for bribing an official at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Louis D. Lappen of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and Special Agent in Charge Michael Harpster of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division made the announcement.
Dmitrij Harder, 45, of Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty on April 20, 2016, to two counts of violating the FCPA. In imposing sentence today, U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond also ordered Harder to forfeit $1.9 million.
Harder was the principal owner of Chestnut Consulting Group, based in Southampton, Pennsylvania. Between 2008 and 2009, the defendant paid approximately $3,500,000 in bribes to Andrej Ryjenko, an official and senior banker at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), in exchange for Ryjenko referring EBRD clients to Chestnut, Harder admitted. Harder also admitted that he paid the bribes to Ryjenko through the Channel Island bank accounts of Ryjenko’s sister, Tatjana Sanderson. A British jury found both Ryjenko and Sanderson guilty of related corruption offenses in June 2017, and Ryjenko was sentenced to six years in prison.
The case was investigated by the FBI with significant assistance from U.K. law enforcement. Assistance was also provided by the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Chief Leo Tsao of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle L. Morgan of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The Fraud Section is responsible for investigating and prosecuting all FCPA matters. Additional information about the Justice Department’s FCPA enforcement efforts can be found at www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/foreign-corrupt-practices-act.