SEC charges 7 former Siemens executives with bribing government authorities

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

US securities regulator SEC has charged seven former Siemens executives with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in a bribery scheme in Argentina, the regulator said in a statement.

The executives are accused of involvement a scheme from 1996 to early 2007 to retain a US$1bn contract with the Argentine government to produce national identity cards.

Siemens was previously charged with FCPA violations and paid US$1.6bn to resolve the charges with the SEC, US Department of Justice, and the prosecutor general's office in Munich.

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The accused executives worked at Siemens and its Argentine subsidiary, the SEC said, while one left the company and acted as a payment intermediary. Siemens is said to have paid more than US$100mn in bribes to high-ranking Argentine officials, such as two former presidents and former cabinet members.

The executives are accused of falsifying documents, including invoices and consulting contracts, and participating in meetings in the US to negotiate the terms for bribes, as well as of using US bank accounts to make some of the payments.

"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.

The Siemens and Siemens Argentina executives include Uriel Sharef; former managing board member; Herbert Steffen, former CEO of Siemens Argentina; and Andrés Truppel, former CFO of Siemens Argentina.