Another Investigation Sparked at PBS&J
The $618-million, employee-owned company disclosed the investigation in a Dec. 30 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In the filing, it told the SEC it could not file its required year-end annual report for 2009 on time because the audit committee of its board of directors was seeking “to determine whether any laws have been violated, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, in connection with certain projects undertaken by PBS&J International Inc., one of the company’s subsidiaries, in certain foreign countries.”
In the filing, PBSJ stated that it had “self-reported” the circumstances surrounding the investigation to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice and “will cooperate fully” should the SEC or DOJ decide to conduct its own investigation.
Speaking on behalf of the company, C.L. Conroy, president and partner of a Miami public relations firm, said she could provide no other details. “The [SEC] filing gave everything we can talk about. You know how an investigation goes. They have to take their time and be thorough,” said Conroy.
She said it is unclear when the company — which for the past several years has been recovering from an embezzlement scheme that cost it $36 million — might wrap up the inquiry.
News of the investigation comes just weeks after federal officials finally closed the book on another case involving alleged violations of federal election laws via a campaign contribution reimbursement scheme orchestrated by former company officials. That case ended in deadlock, with members of the Federal Election Commission voting 3-3 not to approve FEC staff recommendations that cited violations of federal law.