Wednesday, September 29, 2010
The SEC announced today that it filed a settled civil action against ABB Ltd ("ABB") in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, charging the company with violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. ABB is a Swiss corporation that provides power and automation products and services worldwide. The SEC alleges that ABB, through its subsidiaries, paid bribes to government officials in Mexico to obtain business with government owned power companies, and paid kickbacks to the former regime in Iraq to obtain contracts under the United Nations Oil for Food Program. As alleged in the complaint, ABB's subsidiaries made at least $2.7 million in illicit payments in these schemes to obtain contracts that generated more than $100 million in revenues for ABB.
ABB agreed to settle the SEC's action without admitting or denying the allegations. It will pay $22,804,262 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest and a $16,510,000 civil penalty. In related criminal proceedings, ABB has reached a settlement with the United States Department of Justice in which ABB has agreed to pay a criminal fine of $30,420,000.