Alcatel to pay $137M to settle bribery charges

December 28, 2010 By MICHELLE CHAPMAN , AP Business Writer
Alcatel to pay $137M to settle bribery charges (AP)
In this Sept. 16, 2010, The logo of Alcatel Lucent is seen at the entrance during a visit at Alcatel Lucent research center in Villarceaux, outskirts of Paris. Alcatel-Lucent SA has agreed to pay more than $137 million to settle charges brought against it by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice.(AP Photo/Francois Mori, file)

(AP) -- Alcatel-Lucent SA has agreed to pay more than $137 million to settle charges brought against it by the federal government.

The accused the Paris-based maker of telecommunications gear of paying bribes to foreign government officials to illegally win business in Latin America and Asia.

, a top supplier to U.S. and European phone companies, agreed to pay more than $45 million to settle the SEC's charges. It will pay an additional $92 million to settle separate criminal charges announced by the Justice Department.

The SEC's complaint said Alcatel's bribes went to government officials in Costa Rica, Honduras, Malaysia and Taiwan between December 2001 and June 2006. Alcatel bought U.S.-based Technologies at the end of 2006.

"We take responsibility for and regret what happened and have implemented policies and procedures to prevent these violations from happening again," said Steve Reynolds, the company's general counsel.

The SEC complaint, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Miami, said all of the bribery payments were undocumented or improperly recorded as consulting fees by Alcatel subsidiaries and then consolidated into the company's financial statements.

The complaint also says leaders of several Alcatel subsidiaries and geographical regions either knew or were severely reckless in not knowing about the misconduct.

"Alcatel and its subsidiaries failed to detect or investigate numerous red flags suggesting their employees were directing sham consultants to provide gifts and payments to foreign government officials to illegally win business," Robert Khuzami, director of the SEC's division of enforcement, said in a statement.

The settlement is subject to court approval.

A year ago, Alcatel created a reserve for the settlement of 97 million euros, or $127 million. As a result, the company said, the settlement won't affect this year's results.

Last month Alcatel reported income of 25 million euros ($35 million) on revenue of 4.1 billion euros ($5.8 billion) for the third quarter after losses last year, helped by recovering demand for wireless and growth in Asia and eastern Europe.

The company is headquartered in Paris and has its main North American office in Murray Hill, N.J.

Explore further: Sun Micro: We may have broken US anti-bribery law


Related Stories

Sun Micro: We may have broken US anti-bribery law

May 8, 2009

(AP) -- Sun Microsystems Inc. may have broken anti-bribery laws with its actions in an unspecified location outside the United States, a revelation that would-be acquirer Oracle Corp. knew about before inking its $7.4 billion ...

Verdict spares Microsoft $358M in patent damages

September 11, 2009

(AP) -- A federal appeals court said Friday that Microsoft Corp. does not have to pay Alcatel-Lucent $358 million for patent infringement because of problems with how the damages were calculated.

Alcatel, Lucent pull trigger on big merger

April 3, 2006

Sunday's merger of France's Alcatel and U.S. telecom manufacturer Lucent will be finalized in six to 12 months, assuming regulatory approval is granted.

Dell Inc. paying $100 million in SEC deal

July 23, 2010

(AP) -- Computer maker Dell Inc. is paying $100 million to settle civil charges that it fraudulently used payments from Intel to pump up its profits to meet Wall Street targets over five years, the government announced Thursday.

Recommended for you

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

5 / 5 (1) Dec 29, 2010
Why didn't the SEC go after Bernie Madoff, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, or AIG, before lavishing them with TARP funds, and gifts from the Federal Reserve Bank?

Since when does the "Securities and Exchange Commission" (SEC) have jurisdiction in Costa Rica, Honduras, Malaysia and Taiwan? And, why is the World Trade Organization (WTO) silent on Alcatel?

How much pork & bribes did competitors of Alcatel payoff their SEC government officials to pursue such foreign-business transactions?

Why isn't Alcatel protected in the USA, under the same Supreme Court ruling that exempts political-campaign bribes as free speech?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.