Siemens to Pay $800 Million Corruption Settlement

The company has acknowledged that up $1.7 billion may have been used illegally to win foreign contracts.

Siemens, accused of winning foreign contracts illegally, is to pay $800 million to settle a corruption case in the U.S. following a court settlement on Dec. 15.

Under the district court settlement, Siemens is to pay a $450 million fine and agreed to a $350 million settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, according to court documents. The U.S. Department of Justice said that it and the SEC would hold a press conference on the "landmark Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action."

The 161-year-old German conglomerate, whose shares are listed on the New York Stock exchange since 2001, has acknowledged that up to 1.3 billion euros (US$1.7 billion) may have been used illegally to win foreign contracts.

Siemens found the practice was widespread across its numerous divisions. Prosecutors have investigated around 300 people in connection with the affair. It led to the resignation of a string of top executives, including chief executive Klaus Kleinfeld and his long-term predecessor and chairman of the board, Heinrich von Pierer.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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