The Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) has pleaded guilty to bribing Russian government officials, and has been fined $58.7 million, according to a report in the New York Times.
“Hewlett-Packard subsidiaries, co-conspirators or intermediaries created a slush fund for bribe payments, set up an intricate web of shell companies and bank accounts to launder money, employed two sets of books to track bribe recipients, and use anonymous email accounts and prepaid mobile telephones to arrange covert meetings to hand over bags of cash,” Deputy Assistant Attorney General Swartz said in an earlier public statement.
The Securities and Exchange Commission said the computer maker’s Russian subsidiary paid $2 millinon for a technology contract with the federal prosecutor’s office, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
But its Russian arm isn’t the only one the SEC has an its eye on. The agency has also charged the Palo Alto, California-based company for similar violations in two other countries.
In Poland, an HP subsidiary allegedly paid more than $600,000 cash to a government official to secure a contract with the national police agency, while a Mexican affiliate paid more than $1 million in “inflated commissions” to a consultant who was close to company officials, who received some of the money, according to an April press release.
For the Russian, Polish and Mexican violations, the company has agreed to pay a total of more than $108 million.