Former HP boss charged with bribery in Poland
Polish prosecutors alleged yesterday that a local executive with U.S. firm Hewlett-Packard Co. paid bribes worth over $500,000 in exchange for help winning contracts to supply computer equipment to the Polish police headquarters.
Poland’s Interior Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz said HP would make an announcement later on Wednesday acknowledging its Polish unit had been involved in “corrupt activities”. A spokeswoman for HP declined to comment.
Polish officials said dozens of people had been charged as part of an industry-wide investigation of corruption dating from 2007 to 2009, among them representatives of major information technology (IT) companies, government officials and former police officers.
The minister said Poland had cooperated on the investigation with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act makes it illegal for U.S. companies to pay bribes to officials with foreign governments to win business. Firms found to have violated the act have in the past been ordered to pay multimillion-dollar settlements.