Palo Alto-based Hewlett Packard Company’s latest Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on June 8 contained this FCPA disclosure:
The German Public Prosecutor’s Office (“German PPO”) has been conducting an investigation into allegations that current and former employees of HP engaged in bribery, embezzlement and tax evasion relating to a transaction between Hewlett-Packard ISE GmbH in Germany, a former subsidiary of HP, and the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation. The approximately €35 million transaction, which was referred to as the Russia GPO deal, spanned the years 2001 to 2006 and was for the delivery and installation of
an information technology network.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC have also been conducting an investigation into the Russia GPO deal and potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”).
Under the FCPA, a person or an entity could be subject to fines, civil penalties of up to $500,000 per violation and equitable remedies, including disgorgement and other injunctive relief. In addition, criminal penalties could range from the greater of $2 million per violation or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss from the violation.
In addition to information about the Russia GPO deal, the U.S. enforcement authorities have requested (i) information related to certain other transactions, including transactions in Russia, Serbia and in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) subregion dating back to 2000, and (ii) information related to two former HP executives seconded to Russia and to whether HP personnel in Russia, Germany, Austria, Serbia, the Netherlands or CIS were involved in kickbacks or other improper payments to channel partners or state-owned or private entities.
HP is cooperating with these investigating agencies.
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