108 million to settle US probes
US computer giant Hewlett Packard agreed to pay $US108 million ($A116 million) to settle investigations that it paid bribes to win public contracts in Russia, Poland and Mexico, officials say.
The settlement covers criminal and abercrombie and fitch civil investigations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, according to a statement from the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
In Poland, gifts and cash bribes worth more than $US600,000 were paid to a Polish government official to obtain cont abercrombie and fitch racts with the national police agency.
And in Mexico, HP paid abercrombie and fitch more than $US1 million in inflation commissions to a consultant to win a software sale to Mexico’s state owned petroleum company Pemex, and some of that money was funnelled to a company official.
“Hewlett Packard subsidiaries created a slush fund for bribe payments, set up an intricate web of shell companies and bank accounts to launder money, employed two sets of books to track bribe recipients abercrombie and fitch , and used anonymous email accounts and prepaid mobile telephones to arrange covert meetings to hand over bags of cash,” Deputy Assistant Attorney General Bruce Swartz said in a statement.
Kara Brockmeyer, an SEC enforcement official, said HP lacked internal controls and allowed the bribes to be recorded “as legitimate commissions and expenses”.
According to US officials, the bribes in Mexico were paid from 2008 to 2009, in Poland from 2006 to 2010 and in Russia from 2000 to 2007.
HP acknowledged the settlement in a separate statement and noted that it calls for “certain compliance, reporting and cooperation obligations”.
“The misconduct described in the settlement was limited to a small number of people who are no longer employed by the company,” said John Schultz, executive vice president and general counsel for the company.