Monday, December 15, 2008

SEC Charges Siemens AG for Engaging in Worldwide Bribery

There have been more Foreign Corrupt Practices Acts (FCPA) enforcement cases in the US in the last three years than in the history of the Act itself. The government's all over bribes to foreign government officials in exchange for business. Today, the SEC announced huge settlement with Siemens AG. Siemen's AG has agreed to settle claims with the SEC and The Department of Justice, among others, for violations of the FCPA that total over $1 billion dollars. Yes, with a "b." The SEC press release link is at the bottom of this post.

Washington, D.C., Dec. 15, 2008 - The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an unprecedented settlement with Siemens AG to resolve SEC charges that the Munich, Germany-based manufacturer of industrial and consumer products violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by engaging in a systematic practice of paying bribes to foreign government officials to obtain business.The SEC alleges that Siemens paid bribes on such widespread transactions as the design and construction of metro transit lines in Venezuela, power plants in Israel, and refineries in Mexico. Siemens also used bribes to obtain such business as developing mobile telephone networks in Bangladesh, national identity cards in Argentina, and medical devices in Vietnam, China, and Russia. According to the SEC's complaint, Siemens also paid kickbacks to Iraqi ministries in connection with sales of power stations and equipment to Iraq under the United Nations Oil for Food Program. Siemens earned more than $1.1 billion in profits on these and several other transactions.Siemens has agreed to pay $350 million in disgorgement to settle the SEC's charges, and a $450 million fine to the U.S. Department of Justice to settle criminal charges. Siemens also will pay a fine of approximately $569 million to the Office of the Prosecutor General in Munich, to whom the company previously paid an approximately $285 million fine in October 2007. View Press Release 2008-294

No comments: