Here’s the full FCPA disclosure from HP’s Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 11, 2014:
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 IT network. The German PPO has issued an indictment of four individuals, including one current and two former HP employees, on charges including bribery, breach of trust and tax evasion. The German PPO has also requested that HP be made an associated party to the case, and, if that request is granted, HP would participate in any portion of the court proceedings that could ultimately bear on the question of whether HP should be subject to potential disgorgement of profits based on the conduct of the indicted current and former employees.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC have been conducting an investigation into the Russia GPO deal and potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). These U.S. enforcement agencies, as well as the Polish Central Anti-Corruption Bureau, are also conducting investigations into potential FCPA violations by an employee of Hewlett-Packard Polska Sp. z o.o., an indirect subsidiary of HP, in connection with certain public-sector transactions in Poland. In addition, the same U.S. enforcement agencies are conducting investigations into certain other public-sector transactions in Russia, Poland, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and Mexico, among other countries.
HP is cooperating with these investigating agencies and is in advanced discussions with the U.S. enforcement agencies to resolve their investigations.
Under the FCPA, a person or an entity could be subject to fines, civil penalties of up to $725,000 per violation and equitable remedies, including disgorgement of profits, pre-judgment interest and other injunctive relief. In addition, criminal penalties could range from the greater of $25 million per violation or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss from the violation.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.