HP 'bribed' government officials $3.6M; will pay $108M fine

What would Bill and Dave do?

DoJ and SEC get their pound of flesh.

HP (NYSE:HPQ) has, err, "resolved" several allegations that it bribed officials in Mexico and Eastern Europe. The Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission don't take kindly to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, you see.

Oh. Wait. Did I say "HP"? Of course I actually meant "HP subsidiaries." So that's all right then.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers watch Bill and Dave roll in their respective graves.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.


Steve Johnson reports:

Hewlett-Packard has agreed to pay a $108 million fine to resolve allegations that its subsidiaries bribed officials in Poland, Russia and Mexico.

A U.S. Justice Department statement...cited HP's "extensive cooperation" with investigators, which included doing its own probe, making its employees available for interviews and gathering "voluminous evidence." ... In its own statement, HP said the bribery "was limited to a small number of people who are no longer employed by the company."  MORE


James Niccolai adds:

An international subsidiary of HP has agreed to plead guilty to violating the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and admit to its role in bribing Russian officials to secure a big contract. ... The U.S. is also entering into "criminal resolutions" with HP subsidiaries in Poland and Mexico.

The HP entities will pay a total of $77 million in criminal penalties and forfeiture. ... HP has also reached a deal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that will cost it a further $31 million. ... It's not the only company to have run into trouble doing business overseas. IBM and Oracle in the past have also reported potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  MORE


And Julian Hattem covers his head:

The schemes involved fraud, expensive gifts and cash bribes...according to charges from the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission.

The government charged that HP's subsidiary created a $7 million fund to bribe Russian officials...set up through an elaborate system that involved selling HP hardware to an intermediary, buying them back at a markup and then reselling them to the Russian government at an inflated price.

From 2006 to 2010 the company’s Polish subsidiary allegedly falsified books and records to score contracts with the national police agency. That effort involved...bags filled with cash and a trip for a government official to Las Vegas that included a private tour flight over the Grand Canyon.

In Mexico, the company hid a $1.4 million commission to a consultant it hired to help secure a contract.  MORE


So Jennifer Booton smirks:

The anti-bribery campaign has been in full force over the last year, spurring a number of multi-million-dollar settlements.

In January, Alcoa agreed to pay $384 million to settle an FCPA probe after the government alleged the aluminum maker’s subsidiaries paid bribes to government officials in Bahrain. Last May, French oil giant Total agreed to a $398 million settlement.

"Enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act continues to be a high priority area for the SEC," the agency says.  MORE

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