PC vendor to pay US regulators $108 million to settle case

HP caught in bribery scandal

HP will pay US regulators $108 million after being charged with allegedly bribing officials in order to secure public sector contracts.

A Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation found that HP’s actions potentially violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, reports The Guardian.

Prosecutors said that a HP exec reportedly paid bribes worth more than $600,000 to the head of IT for Poland’s police headquarters, in a bid to gain contracts there worth more than $40 million.

Corruption was also discovered in Russia and Mexico.

"Hewlett-Packard lacked the internal controls to stop a pattern of illegal payments to win business in Mexico and Eastern Europe," said Kara Brockmeyer from the SEC enforcement division.

"The company’s books and records reflected the payments as legitimate commissions and expenses. Companies have a fundamental obligation to ensure that their internal controls are both reasonably designed and appropriately implemented across their entire business operations, and they should take a hard look at the agents conducting business on their behalf."

HP executive VP and general counsel John Schultz said in a statement: "The misconduct described in the settlement was limited to a small number of people who are no longer employed by the company.

"HP fully cooperated with both the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission in the investigation of these matters and will continue to provide customers around the world with top quality products and services without interruption."

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