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Cisco probes Russia bribe allegations

Cisco Systems Inc. is investigating whether some of its activities in Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia may have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The networking equipment manufacturer announced the internal probe in a public filing in late February.

In its quarterly report, Cisco said:

At the request of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice, the Company is conducting an investigation into allegations which the Company and those agencies received regarding possible violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act involving business activities of the Company’s operations in Russia and certain of the Commonwealth of Independent States, and by certain resellers of the Company’s products in those countries. The Company takes any such allegations very seriously and is fully cooperating with and sharing the results of its investigation with the Commission and the Department. While the outcome of the Company’s investigation is currently not determinable, the Company does not expect that it will have a material adverse effect on its consolidated financial position, results of operations, or cash flows. The countries that are the subject of the investigation collectively comprise less than two percent of the Company’s revenues.

Cisco discussed its investigation in a blog post about business ethics on its website in December. Roxane Marenberg, a vice president in its compliance systems division, wrote the post.

The FCPA Professor discussed her post in February and the Wall Street Journal reported the company’s filing and Marenberg’s post on Thursday.

Marenberg said: “Despite the extensive investigation that we have undertaken thus far, we have found no basis to believe that Cisco’s activities are in violation of any law, and indeed the information we were provided does not allege wrongdoing by any of Cisco’s executive management.”

Cisco’s Form 10-Q can be found here and Marenberg’s post can be read here.

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Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.

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