HP Close To Settling Bribery Charges

PALO ALTO (KCBS) — Hewlett-Packard announced they are getting close to settling with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice over bribery charges involving a Russian technology contract.

From 2001 to 2006 an HP subsidiary provided an IT network for the Russian General Prosecutor’s Office—a contract worth about € 35 million ($46 million).

U.S. and German officials, however, allege that HP won the contract by paying millions of dollars to Russian officials.

Arik Hesseldahl, Senior Editor at All Things D, told KCBS that, as unfortunate as it is, international bribery is not uncommon.

“Usually the deals are so large and the amounts of money are relatively so small that you could almost kind of look at it as though it’s almost the cost of doing business,” he said.

“But the other thing that happens is that sometimes the individuals who are involved—who are on the ground employees—they wind up getting prosecuted.”

In HP’s case, three people have been indicted—including an employee who still works for the company.

HP said they are in “advanced discussions” to settle investigations from the SEC and the Depart of Justice into charges of bribery, embezzlement and tax evasion relating to transactions between HP ISE in Germany and the General Prosecutors Office of the Russian Federation.

There is no indication, however, what kind of penalties the company might have to pay.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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