Friday, December 21, 2007
The SEC filed another action involving FCPA violations, this time a settled complaint against Lucent Technologies Inc. ("Lucent"). Lucent agreed, without admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint, to the entry of a permanent injunction and to pay $1.5 million in civil penalties. The SEC alleges that, from at least 2000 to 2003, Lucent spent over $10,000,000 for approximately 1,000 Chinese foreign officials, who were employees of Chinese state-owned or state-controlled telecommunications enterprises, to travel to the United States and elsewhere. The Commission alleges that while the trips were ostensibly designed to allow the Chinese foreign officials to inspect Lucent's factories and to train the officials in using Lucent equipment, in fact, the officials spent little or no time visiting Lucent's facilities. Instead, they visited tourist destinations such as Hawaii, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, Disney World, Universal Studios, and New York City. As set forth in the complaint, the Chinese government enterprises for whom the officials worked were either entities to which Lucent was seeking to sell its equipment and services or existing Lucent customers.