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Siemens Bribery Scandal In December 2008 Siemens, the large German electronics firm, agreed to pay $1.6 billion in fines to settle legal suits bought by the U.S. and German governments. The governments asserted that Siemens had used bribes to win business in countries around the world. These were the largest fines ever levied against a company for bribes, reflecting the scale of the problem at Siemens. Since 1999, the company had apparently paid some $1.4 billion in bribes. In Bangladesh, Siemens paid $5 million to the son of the prime minister to win a mobile phone contract. In Nigeria, it paid $12.7 million to various officials to win government telecommunications contracts. In Argentina, Siemens paid at least $40 million in bribes…show more content…
In justifying this behavior, one former Siemens employee stated, “It was about keeping the business alive and not jeopardizing thousands of jobs overnight.” But the practice left behind angry competitors who were shut out of contracts and local residents in poor countries who paid too much for government services because of rigged deals. Also, by engaging in bribery, Siemens helped to foster a culture of corruption in those countries where it made illegal payouts. During this time period, in a cynical move, Siemens put in place a formal process for monitoring payments to make sure that no illegal payments were made. Senior executives even made some of the individuals responsible for managing the bribery funds sign compliance forms stating that they had not engaged in any such activity, while knowing full well that this was not the case. This scheme began to collapse at Siemens when investigators in several countries began to examine suspicious transactions. Prosecutors in Italy, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland sent requests for help to counterparts in Germany, providing a list of Siemens employees who were implicated in making illegal payments. In late 2006 the German police acted, raiding the company, seizing data, and arresting several executives. Shortly afterward, the United States started to look into these charges. Since Siemens had a listing on the New

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