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HP Fined $58.7 Million for Bribing Russians

HP CEO Meg Whitman

Hewlett-Packard Co. on Thursday pleaded guilty to felony charges after a former employees bribed Russian officials to get a contract (something no one has ever done in Russia before), and was fined $58.7 million.

The U.S. Department of Justice issued a statement saying Hewlett-Packard’s Russian outfit admitted to transgressing the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in court Thursday.

The DOJ accused HP of paying $2 million to get a technology contract with the Russian.

“In a brazen violation of the FCPA, Hewlett-Packard’s Russia subsidiary used millions of dollars in bribes from a secret slush fund to secure a lucrative government contract, ” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Marshall L. Miller stated. “Even more troubling was that the government contract up for sale was with Russia’s top prosecutor’s office.”

In an agreement reached last April between HP with the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company agreed to pay a total of $108 million in criminal and civil penalties for bribes handed out to officials in Russia, Mexico and Poland.

Talk about spreading the wealth…

John Schultz, HP’s general counsel, said back in April that the bribes were given by a small group of employees who have all been let go since.

How could they…

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