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Pemex sues Siemens, SK Engineering for $160 million

Mexico's state oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court last week against Siemens and South Korea's SK Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd. to recover about $160 million in damages caused by their bribery.

The complaint alleges that Siemens and SK Engineering submitted a low-ball bid in 1996 to win a public contract for modernizing a Pemex refinery in Cadereyta, Mexico.

Siemens then bribed Pemex officials to recover cost overruns, the suit alleges.

Pemex says Peter Paul Muller, Siemens Mexico's former general counsel, has confirmed the corrupt payments.

The suit is one of several Pemex has filed in U.S. federal court in New York City seeking damages from Siemens and SK Engineering.

Siemens' FCPA-related settlement in December 2008 with the DOJ and SEC for $800 million is still the biggest FCPA case of all time.

SK Engineering serves the energy, housing, architectural, infrastructure, and telecommunications sectors. Several of its officers went to prison in South Korea in 2003 for various crimes, including corruption, according to a release from Pemex about the new lawsuit.