For­mer HP boss charged with bribery in Poland

Daily Trust - - REUTERS -

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.

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