HP to pay over 100 million in fines after admitting to bribes
April 10, 2014 00:00
Washington - US technology giant Hewlett-Packard will pay more than 100 million dollars in fines after admitting to bribing government officials in Mexico, Russia and Poland in violation of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the US Justice Depar
In a statement a Justice Department official said that the company's subsidiary in Russia had bribed a government officials in a bid to win a big contract from the prosecutor general of the Russian Federation.
The other violations by HP subsidiaries in Poland and Mexico related to contracts with Poland's national police agency and Mexico's state-owned petroleum company, respectively. There was no indication that HP executives knew of the actions taken by the subsidiaries, the Justice Department said.
"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, and used anonymous email accounts and prepaid mobile telephones to arrange covert meetings to hand over bags of cash,"said Deputy Assistant Attorney General Swartz.
According to the statement the Russian slush fund was used to buy travel, cars, jewelry, clothing, expensive watches, swimming pool technology, furniture, household appliances and other luxury goods, and to funnel millions of dollars to shell companies controlled by Russian government officials.
The statement said that the representatives of HP's Poland subsidiary handed officials bags stuffed with hundreds of thousands of dollars, while in Mexico the subsidiary paid more than 1 million dollars in false commissions to companies tied to officials of the national oil company Pemex.