The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reached a settlement with Siemens to resolve charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by engaging in a systematic practice of paying bribes to foreign government officials to obtain business.
The SEC alleged that Siemens paid bribes on widespread transactions such 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 business such as developing mobile telephone networks in Bangladesh, national identity cards in Argentina and medical devices in Vietnam, China and Russia.
According to SEC, 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 programme. Siemens earned more than $1.1bn (£0.7bn) in profits on these and several other transactions.
Siemens agreed to pay $350m to settle the SEC’s charges, plus a $450m fine to the US Department of Justice to settle criminal charges.
Siemens will also pay a fine of approximately $569m to the Office of the Prosecutor General in Munich, to whom the company previously paid a fine of approximately $285m in October 2007.