NEW YORK, September 12 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian subsidiary of the technology giant Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) was fined $108 million on Thursday for bribing Russian government officials, the US Department of Justice said in a statement.
"In a brazen violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), Hewlett Packard's Russia subsidiary used millions of dollars in bribes from a secret slush fund to secure a lucrative government contract," said principal deputy assistant attorney general Marshall Miller.
"Even more troubling was that the government contract up for sale was with Russia's top prosecutor's office. Tech companies, like all companies, must compete on a level playing field, not resort to secret books and sham transactions to hide millions of dollars in bribes," he added.
HP Russia, also known as ZAO Hewlett-Packard A.O., pleaded guilty to conspiracy and substantive violations of the anti-bribery and accounting provisions of the FCPA in California. HP Russia executives admitted creating a multimillion dollar slush fund, at least part of which was used to bribe Russian government officials for a contract valued at more than €35 million.
"For more than a decade HP Russia business executives participated in an elaborate scheme that involved paying bribes to government officials in exchange for large contracts. There is no place for bribery in any business model or corporate culture," said the FBI's assistant director in charge Andrew McCabe.
Hewlett-Packard Company is a multinational information technology corporation headquartered in Palo Alto, California. According to Gartner Inc., HP was the world's second-largest PC vendor by unit sales in 2013, surpassed only by Lenovo.