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Monday
Apr302012

Where, Oh Where Are The Siemens 8?

The eight former Siemens executives and agents indicted in December last year for bribery, money laundering, and wire fraud haven't appeared in court in the United States and there are no reports of their arrests overseas.

None of them are U.S. citizens. They live in Germany, Switzerland, or Argentina.

The federal court docket in Manhattan shows no activity since their indictment.

But there may be news this week. The DOJ is supposed to file a status report tomorrow, according to a judge's order.

The eight were charged with conspiracy to violate the antibribery, books and records, and internal control provisions of the FCPA; conspiracy to commit wire fraud; conspiracy to commit money laundering; and substantive wire fraud.

Their indictment followed criticism in the media and Congress that the DOJ wasn't prosecuting individuals from big companies that resolve FCPA cases.

Siemens AG's settlement in December 2008 with the DOJ and SEC for $800 million is still the biggest FCPA case of all time. Siemens is based in Germany. Its subsidiary in Argentina was named in the 2008 enforcement action.

Six of the men also face civil charges brought by the SEC for bribing government officials in Argentina.

Another former Siemens employee, Bernd Regendantz, already settled with the SEC. He agreed to pay a civil penalty of $40,000, 'deemed satisfied by Regendantz' payment of a €30,000 administrative fine ordered by the Public Prosecutor General in Munich, Germany.' He wasn't charged in the U.S. criminal indictment.

The last document the DOJ filed with the court was a December 13, 2011 letter to Judge Denise L. Cote.

It said:

Yesterday, a grand jury in this District [the Southern District of New York, Foley Square] returned the enclosed Indictment and the case was assigned to Your Honor. The defendants in this case all reside overseas and none of the defendants is currently in custody. As such, none of the defendants will be arraigned in the immediate future. The Government will keep the Court apprised of any developments regarding the defendants' extradition.

Judge Cote endorsed the letter on December 14 with a hand-written note. She said a 'status letter [from the DOJ] is due May 1, 2012.'

The defendants are Uriel Sharef, Herbert Steffen, Andres Truppel, Ulrich Bock, Eberhard Reichert, Stephan Signer, Carlos Sergi, and Miguel Czysch.

They allegedly bribed a series of Argentine government officials beginning in 1994 for ten years to win a billion dollar contract to produce national identity cards. After the contract was terminated, they paid bribes to reinstate it. They also paid further bribes to suppress evidence when the termination of the contract was being arbitrated.

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