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Former Siemens executives charged with bribery in Argentina


09:13, December 14, 2011

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. financial regulator on Tuesday charged seven former Siemens executives for their involvement in a decade-long bribery scheme to retain a 1 billion dollars government contract in Argentina.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleged that Siemens paid more than 100 million U.S. dollars in bribes to high ranking officials such as two former Argentine presidents and former cabinet members. The bribes were paid to secure a 1 billion dollars contract to produce national identity cards for every Argentine citizen.

According to the SEC's complaint, the scheme lasted from about 1996 to early 2007, and about 31.3 million U.S. dollars paid were made after March 12, 2001, when Siemens became a U.S. issuer subject to U.S. securities laws.

In a parallel criminal action, the Justice Department on Tuesday announced charges against former executives and agents of Siemens. They were charged with conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and money laundering.

Siemens is a 160-year-old electronics and electrical engineering firm.

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