Article 43


Friday, October 05, 2007

Siemens In Trouble For Bribery

Lots of news for telecom the past few weeks.

First - good bye to the historic BELL LABS GROUNDS IN HOLMDEL NJ.

Then - AT&T recalls work outsourced to other countries, bringing new jobs to the American cities of BIRMINGHAM, and LITTLE ROCK, and wins two big contracts - the Federal NETWORX project, and another with IBM.  On the bad side - it’s looking MORE AND MORE like they’ll be the ones to AID THE US GOVERNMENT IN WIRETAPPING AMERICANS, and CENSOR THE INTERNET.

Next - Alcatel-Lucent’s CEO keeps SINGING THE SAME SONG, bringing the planet’s largest telecom manufacturer closer to it’s DEATH, while CHINA IS GIVEN THE KEYS to EVERYTHING TELECOM.

But - in a surpising news article - it looks like Siemens - a telecom equipment manufacturer that’s been doing fine - may be in for some big trouble.  Can you spell W-O-R-L-D-C-O-M?

Huge Fine And More Trouble For Siemens Bribes

Wall Street Journal
October 4, 2007

A German court ordered Siemens to pay $284 million as prosecutors closed a part of Europe’s largest bribery investigation. Other probes continue, and the company faces more possible fines and criminal charges against its executives.

The fine is tied to alleged bribe payments at the Siemens telecom equipment division. German police raided Siemens’s offices last November after flagging millions in questionable payments. Prosecutors suspect company managers funneled funds through sham consulting contracts to bribe potential telecom customers abroad over several years.

The penalty payment, which includes a small fine and a charge for illegal profits, is the first Siemens has faced since the current investigations were launched last year into suspicious payments. A German court in May fined Siemens as part of an earlier investigation into bribes paid by the company in Italy.

An internal investigation at Siemens flagged over $2 billion in suspicious payments. Embarrassment at the extent of Siemens officials’ apparent practice of paying commissions to secure contracts forced a change of leadership earlier this year.

Siemens said it also reached an agreement with German tax authorities to pay over $200 million in unpaid taxes tied to over $600 million in suspicious transactions at the telecom unit.

Criminal investigations into financial irregularities at Siemens are continuing in several other countries, including the US, where the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are probing Siemens’s business dealings. US authorities could levy larger fines and possibly ban Siemens from public-sector contracts in the US. Prosecutors in the US have more legal tools at their disposal to go after companies than their German counterparts, who typically prosecute individuals.

German prosecutors in Nuremberg also are probing tens of millions in payments by Siemens to an employer-friendly labor group allegedly aimed at undermining the country’s most powerful union. That criminal investigation led to the arrest of a Siemens board member earlier this year.



Posted by Elvis on 10/05/07 •
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