U.S. District Judge Lowell Jensen levied the fines as part of $108 million in criminal and civil penalties announced by the the U.S. Justice Department in April of this year. ZAO Hewlett-Packard A.O. or HP Russia pleaded guilty to four counts of violating the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The FCPA has teeth
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act makes it a crime to bribe foreign officials in order to obtain contracts for the company. The act also requires transparency in accounting practices and controls to discourage bribery, something that many foreign governments doing business overseas to not hold themselves to as strictly as the States does. In the plea agreement, HP Russia detailed how it set up a multimillion dollar slush fund in order to secure a contact with the Russian prosecutor general’s office valued at around $45 million.