WASHINGTON, October 23 (RIA Novosti) – US automated teller machine (ATM) manufacturer Diebold Inc. has been fined $48 million for bribing officials in Russia, China and Indonesia to illicitly sell its ATMs to banks in the three countries, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said.
In a statement released Tuesday, the SEC said that Diebold “falsified books and records to hide approximately $1.2 million of bribes paid to employees at privately owned banks in Russia" from 2005 to 2008.
“The bribes were funneled through a distributor in Russia using phony service contracts to hide and falsely record the payments as legitimate business expenses,” the SEC said.
The Ohio-based company is also accused of paying out $1.8 million for “travel, entertainment, and other improper gifts” for officials in China and Indonesia who had “the ability to influence the purchasing decisions” of government-owned banks.
The $48 million penalty imposed on the company will resolve both an SEC complaint filed against Diebold and a parallel criminal case in Ohio against the ATM manufacturer.
“In China, Indonesia and Russia, Diebold chose to pay bribes for business and falsify documents to cover its tracks,” Ohio Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman said in a statement.
“Through its corrupt business practices, Diebold undermined the sense of fair play that is critical for the rule of law to prevail,” Raman said.