Deutsche Welle reports that Siemens has plead guilty to giving bribes and falsifying corporate books in the USA. A US district judge fined the German company and three of its subsidiaries some $450 million.
The company owes another $350-million in fines to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Wall Street Journal adds that this fine is a record breaker, nearly 20 times more than than any other under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
But, it could have been much, much worse, notes the Guardian: "Siemens had feared a penalty of up to $5 billion but, after co-operating with the US authorities and an amnesty programme for whistleblowers on the staff over bribes paid to win lucrative overseas contracts, this proved unfounded."
Bloomberg found that Siemens had:
- Off-book accounts to conceal illegal payments.
- Mischaracterized bribes in corporate accounting.
- Falsely described kickbacks paid to the Iraqi government in the United Nations oil-for-food program.
- Paid kickbacks to get:
- Transport contracts in Venezuela.
- Mobile-telephone networks in Bangladesh.
- Power plants in Israel.
- Traffic-control systems in Russia.