A U.S. judge entered default judgments Tuesday against two former executives of Siemens in Argentina in a civil FCPA enforcement action brought by the SEC.
Judge Shira A. Scheindlin ordered Stephan Signer and Ulrich Bock to each pay a $524,000 civil penalty.
Bock was also ordered to pay an additional $413,957 for disgorgement.
Neither defendant had filed an answer or otherwise appeared to answer the civil complaint the SEC filed against them in December 2011.
Signer and Bock, both German nationals, bribed a series of Argentine government officials for 10 years, beginning in 1994, the SEC said. The bribes were intended to help Siemens win a billion-dollar contract for Siemens to produce national identity cards for the government of Argentina.
After the contract was terminated, Signer and Bock paid bribes to reinstate it. Then they paid more bribes to suppress evidence when the contract termination went to arbitration, the SEC said.
The DOJ indicted eight former Siemens executives and agents for a criminal conspiracy to violate the FCPA, launder money and commit wire fraud. The SEC brought the civil FCPA charges against six of the defendants.
Uriel Sharef, a former officer and board member of Siemens AG, settled civil with the SEC in April 2013. He agreed to pay a $275,000 civil penalty.
In 2011, Bernd Regendantz paid a civil penalty of $40,000 to the SEC to resolve FCPA violations.
In February 2013, Judge Scheindlin threw out the SEC’s civil FCPA enforcement action against one of the SEC defendants, Herbert Steffen. He was a former chief executive officer at Siemens SA Argentina. Judge Scheindlin said he didn’t have sufficient minimum contacts with the United States to subject him to the SEC’s personal jurisdiction.
The criminal defendants all live in either Germany, Switzerland, or Argentina. They haven’t answered the charges in court and the DOJ hasn’t been able to extradite them.
Siemens’ settlement in December 2008 with the DOJ and SEC for $800 million is still the biggest FCPA case of all time.
Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of the FCPA Blog and can be reached here.