Tuesday, December 13, 2011
The SEC charged seven former senior executives of Siemens AG ("Siemens") and its regional company in Argentina with violations of the anti-bribery, books and records, and internal controls provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in connection with a decade-long scheme to bribe senior government officials in Argentina, including two Presidents and Cabinet Ministers in two Presidential administrations.
According to the SEC complaint, the seven individuals, all foreign nationals, paid scores of millions of dollars in bribes for Siemens to obtain and retain a $1 billion contract to produce national identity cards for Argentine citizens. The SEC alleges that over $100 million in bribes were paid. The defendants charged in the scheme are Uriel Sharef, Ulrich Bock, Carlos Sergi, Stephan Signer, Herbert Steffen, Andres Truppel, and Bernd Regendantz. The most senior of these, Uriel Sharef, is a former Siemens Managing Board member.
The SEC previously charged Siemens in December 2008 with FCPA violations in Argentina and numerous other countries around the world. Siemens paid over $1.6 billion to resolve the charges with the Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Office of the Prosecutor General in Munich, Germany.
The SEC's complaint seeks permanent injunctive relief, disgorgement and civil penalties from the defendants.
One defendant has agreed to settle the charges. Bernd Regendantz will pay a civil penalty of $40,000, deemed satisfied by Regendantz' payment of a €30,000 administrative fine ordered by the Public Prosecutor General in Munich, Germany.