Foreign Citizens Face FCPA Charges: The Siemens Fallout Continues

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On December 13, 2011, U.S. authorities brought criminal and civil charges against a group of former executives of German engineering company Siemens AG and its Argentine subsidiary for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The charges come more than three years after Siemens was charged with violations of the FCPA and paid $800 million to resolve charges with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the largest FCPA penalty ever imposed.

According to allegations in the criminal indictment, eight former Siemens senior executives and agents were part of a decade-long bribery scheme in which they committed to pay $100 million in bribes, and paid more than $60 million, to secure a $1 billion contract to produce national identity cards for Argentine citizens. The executives allegedly paid bribes from 1996 to 2007 to various top Argentine officials, including presidents and cabinet ministers. The DOJ claims that the foreign defendants participated in meetings in the United States to negotiate the bribe payments and at least $25 million in bribes were funneled through U.S. bank accounts.

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