Siemens executives charged with bribery in Argentina

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SEC Charges Seven Former Siemens Executives with Bribing Leaders in Argentina. Securities Exchange Commission Press Release 2011-263

Washington, D.C., Dec. 13, 2011 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged seven former Siemens executives with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) for their involvement in the company’s decade-long bribery scheme to retain a $1 billion government contract to produce national identity cards for Argentine citizens.

Siemens was previously charged with FCPA violations and paid $1.6 billion to resolve the charges with the SEC, U.S. Department of Justice, and Office of the Prosecutor General in Munich.

The SEC alleges that the executives who perpetuated the scheme worked at Siemens and its regional company Siemens Argentina. One of the executives had left Siemens and acted as a payment intermediary in the scheme. Siemens paid more than $100 million in bribes to such high-ranking officials as two former Argentine presidents and former cabinet members. The executives falsified documents including invoices and sham consulting contracts, and participated in meetings in the United States to negotiate the terms of bribe payments. They used U.S. bank accounts to pay some of the bribes.

«Business should flow to the company with the best product and the best price, not the best bribe,» said Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. «Corruption erodes public trust and the transparency of our commercial markets, and undermines corporate governance.”

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