On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) would pay $108 million to settle a probe into allegations of bribery at some of its overseas units.
The government said that a Russian HPQ subsidiary had pleaded guilty to bribing local officials to win contracts. HPQ subsidiaries in Poland and Mexico also settled criminal charges linked to bribes paid to win business in those markets, Reuters noted.
A government official said that HPQ units had “created a slush fund for bribe payments” as well as using covert communications and double-bookkeeping to coordinate and conceal the bribes. HPQ said those responsible for the bribes no longer worked for HP. The company also said that it cooperated fully with the government’s probe.
In Russia, HPQ was accused of setting up a slush fund to bribe local officials with cars, jewelry, trips and home goods in order to win a government contract. HPQ reportedly paid an improper $1.41 million bribe to win a oil company software contract.Polish authorities have charged a HPQ executive in the country with bribery.
HPQ units were charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it illegal for U.S. companies to pay bribes in foreign countries.
News of the deal sent HPQ stock up more than 2% in Thursday morning trading. HPQ stock has gained more than 45% over the past year.
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