US Tech Giant Fined $58 Million for Bribery

A subsidiary of U.S. technology giant Hewlett-Packard was hit with a multi-million-dollar fine Thursday for bribing Russian government officials.

The company’s Russian division will have to pay $58.7 million after pleading guilty in a California court to violating U.S. anti-bribery and accounting laws.

HP Russia admitted to paying off government officials to secure a $45 million contract with the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Marshall Miller of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division called the illicit deal in Russia “troubling.”

“Tech companies, like all companies, must compete on a level playing field, not resort to secret books and sham transactions to hide millions of dollars in bribes,” Miller said in a written statement. “The Criminal Division has been at the forefront of this fight because when corruption takes hold overseas, American companies and the rule of law are harmed.”

Other HP subsidiaries in Poland and Mexico were convicted under the same law earlier this year, bringing total fines to the company and its affiliates to $108 million.

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