In 2008, Siemens AG ended a massive bribery investigation with an $800 million settlement that set a record for a corporate foreign bribery case. But the executives involved with the case were not forced to pay a single penny — until now.
U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin has ordered former Siemens executives Ulrich Bock and Stephan Singer to each pay a $524,000 penalty related to the bribery. Bock must also pay approximately $414,000 in disgorgement and interest as well.
The $524,000 penalty is also a record-setter — the largest civil penalty for an individual in a corporate foreign bribery case. The order came after the two former executives did not respond to the bribery charges against them, were not represented by attorneys, and could not be reached for comment.
Bock and Singer, along with five other Siemens employees, faced charges in both the U.S.A. and Argentina related to bribery and corruption. The allegations centered on a scheme involving government contracts to produce national identity cards for citizens of Argentina. Although the American court case concerning this bribery has extended back years, the Argentinian charges are new.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) originally filed their case against the Siemens employees in 2011. The Wall Street Journal says that the SEC recommended the penalty and disgorgement amounts for the default judgment, a penalty that resulted from the executives’ unresponsiveness and “utter refusal to accept any responsibility for their actions.”
Of the five other Siemens employees charged in the case, three received significantly smaller fines from Judge Scheindlin following SEC settlements. Another former employee had his case dismissed entirely.
According to the WSJ, Bock and Singer must pay their fines within 10 days of the Feb. 4 final judgment.
Bribery is a rampant issue for in-house legal counsel, and InsideCounsel has it covered: