Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the settlement of the case against Hewlett-Packard Corporation. American supplier of hardware and software accused the authorities of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In particular, the company paid bribes to Russian, Polish and Mexican officials to get lucrative contracts. As a result, the company will pay $ 108 million in exchange for the termination of the criminal prosecution by the US Department of Justice.
In this history of corruption have all of the best spy novels: bags full of money, a trip to Las Vegas, jewelry and shell companies. The investigation of corruption of HP began four years ago and affected between 2000 and 2010, that is, until the moment when the current CEO Meg Whitman took office.
According to the US Department of Justice, guilty of bribing Russian officials acknowledged HP Russia. Corrupt activities in Russia by the "daughter» Hewlett-Packard continued in the period from 2000 to 2007. It all began in 1999, when growing upYi, the government announced its intention to computerize the Prosecutor General of Russia. Then HP Russia considered that this contract is $ 100 million and could be another clue for future contracts in the amount of $ 100-150 million with Russian government agencies. Then the secret fund, totaling several million dollars was established, part of the proceeds from which went to bribes.
Fraudulent scheme worked as follows: HP selling various hardware and software equipment, prescribed in the contract, its Russian partner sales; then the intermediary company buys the same equipment, but with a supplement of € 8 million and paid another € 4,2 million for the alleged services; Finally, the HP was selling these products to the final destination, the prosecutor's office, but at a higher price. Payments are made through the same intermediary a chain of front companies registered in the USA, the UK, the US Virgin Islands or Belize. During the study of the materials of the corporation it turned out, for example, that HP subsidiary company paid a total bill of about $ 2 million Russian hbureaucrats through their agents and front companies. Most of these payments laundered through offshore accounts in Switzerland, Lithuania, Latvia and Austria. Shadow fund is spent on the purchase of expensive cars, watches, jewelry, furniture, clothing and other expensive goods.
The HP managers threatened to bribe Russian officials
In autumn 2012 the German company Hewlett-Packard suspected of bribing Genprokuratory Russia with the aim of winning the tender for the supply of IT-equipment. Violators in Germany threatened to real prison term if found guilty, and Russian officials go unpunished, experts noted.
In Poland, a subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard Company paid government official more than $ 600 thousand. In exchange for a contract with the country's police. The company even gave him a free trip to Las Vegas, which included food, drinks, entertainment, and a flight to the Grand Canyon. Among other generous gifts were bags of cash totaling several hundred thousand dollars. bribes transfer took place first at the home of the official, and thenone of the car parks of Warsaw. HP also gave official computers, tablets and other mobile devices.
In Mexico, HP corrupt activity affected its cooperation with Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex). In this case, the American corporation has realized that in order to keep the contract with Pemex, HP will need close relations with someone of the oil company's management. As a result, the corporation has hired some consultants who are paid a "fee" in the amount of € 1.41 billion, and concealed these payments by resorting to the services of some third company, declared as a commercial agent. The money was transferred to the account of the intermediary, and then went to a counselor. Immediately after that, a consultant paid to one of Pemex representatives of about € 125 thousand.
HP has said it has cooperated in the investigation with both the Federal Commission on the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as with the Ministry of Justice and intends to continue to provide them all possible assistance in obtaining the necessary information. Meanwhile, the company noted that these crimes involve only a few employees to the internationalorporatsii that have long ceased to operate at HP.