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WASHINGTON, April 10. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian subsidiary of US-based Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) has admitted its guilt on charges of US authorities of giving bribes to Russian officials in order to secure a beneficial state contract. This was reported by the US Department of Justice, which investigated this case together with the FBI, California Prosecutor’s Office and US Internal Revenue System.
According to the documents presented to California’s northern district court, the Hewlett-Packard A.O. CJSC, registered in Russia, has violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Similar charges are brought against the sub-divisions of the US-based company in Poland and Mexico. According to the estimates of the US Department of Justice, Hewlett-Packard and its subsidiaries will have to pay fines in the overall amount of $108 million.
Bribes given by the company to Russian officials and transferred to banking accounts of front companies related to these officials are also estimated at millions of dollars. This was made in order to secure a state contract for office automation and providing computing equipment to one of the Russian federal institutions in 1999 at the amount of $100 million. In addition, Hewlett-Packard employees expected that after the first contract, there would be additional agreements amounting to $150 million.
“Hewlett-Packard subsidiaries created a slush fund for bribe payments, set up an intricate web of shell companies and bank accounts to launder money, employed two sets of books to track bribe recipients, and used anonymous e-mail accounts and prepaid mobile telephones to arrange covert meetings to hand over bags of cash,” stated Deputy Assistant Attorney General Bruce Swartz.
Meanwhile, Valerie Parlave of the FBI's Washington Field Office said that attaches for legal issues in US embassies in Moscow, Warsaw, Mexico City and Berlin participated in the investigation of these cases.