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Tuesday
May032016

Report: Siemens pays $42 million to settle Israel bribe case

Siemens AG agreed to pay the Israeli government about $42 million as a penalty for bribing officials at state-owned Israel Electric Corporation to win a contract to supply turbines fifteen years ago.

The Tel Aviv District Attorney also filed indictments for bribery and money laundering against six IEC officials.

Globes Publishing in Israel identified them Monday as former senior deputy director general David Cohn, former senior deputy CEO Jacob Hain, former engineering and planning department deputy director Haim Bar-Ner, planning and development department deputy director David Elmakis, former engineering and planning department director Yona Sweater, and former planning department departmental head Zvi Eyal.

"They are suspected of taking bribes amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars that were transferred to accounts in Swiss banks or smuggled abroad in cash in suitcases," Globes said.

In late 2014, police in Israel detained six current and former executives from IEC. But a court-imposed gag order limited reporting of the case.

The prosecutions in Israel are related to Siemens' $800 million FCPA enforcement action in 2008.

Siemens admitted in the FCPA case that it paid $20 million in bribes from 1999 to 2001 to win an IEC contract worth $786 million.

In June 2014, police in Israel made four arrests in the case, including former Siemens Israel CEO Oren Aharonson. He cooperated with prosecutors in exchange for immunity. After prosecutors discovered new evidence, he was re-indicted.

Aharonson was first charged with bribing former Tel Aviv district court judge Dan Cohen, who served as an IEC director. Cohen confessed to taking $1.36 million in bribes and pleaded guilty. He was sentenced in 2013 to six years in prison.

In the settlement reported this week, Siemens agreed to appoint an "external inspector" to supervise the company's activities in Israel, Globes Publishing said.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He'll be the keynote speaker at the FCPA Blog NYC Conference 2016.