Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Violation Allegations: VimpelCom, Qualcomm, and PTC Inc. Settle with Regulators
VimpelCom Resolves FCPA Violations for $795M
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and regulators in the Netherlands have arrived at a global settlement with VimpelCom Ltd. to resolve Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations. The telecommunications provider purportedly committed the offenses in order win business in Uzbekistan.
According to the regulator, the company offered bribes to an Uzbek government official who was the relative of Uzbekistan’s President, just as VimpelCom entered that nation’s telecommunications market. VimpelCom needed government-issued licenses, channels, frequencies, and mobile blocks. At least $114M in bribes were funneled through an entity with ties to the official who was bribed, while about $500K was hidden under the guise of “charitable donations” that were also affiliated to the same official.
As a result of the alleged FCPA violations, said the SEC, the telecommunications company earned massive revenues in Uzbekistan. As part of the settlement, VimpelCom will pay $167.5M to the SEC, $130.1M to the DOJ, and $397.5M to Dutch regulators.
PTC Inc. is Accused of Bribing Chinese Officials to Win Business
PTC Inc. and its two Chinese subsidiaries (PTC-China) have consented to collectively pay $28M to resolve civil and criminal actions accusing them of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. According to the regulator, the two subsidiaries provided improper payments and non-business related travel to Chinese government officials to garner business. The SEC order, which institutes a settled administrative proceeding against the Massachusetts-based technology company, states that the two subsidiaries spent almost $1.5M on improper travel, entertainment, and gifts for the Chinese government officials who worked for state-owned entities that were customers of PTC. This purportedly made the company about $11.8M in profits from sales contracts with these entities.