German software giant SAP has agreed to pay more than $220 million in fines to resolve bribery allegations involving payments to foreign government officials, according to the Justice Department.
SAP and unnamed co-conspirators were found guilty of providing bribes and other valuable enticements to South African and Indonesian foreign officials. The bribes took the form of cash payments, political contributions, electronic transfers, and luxury goods purchased during shopping trips.
The motive behind these payments and gifts was to secure valuable government business. “To obtain valuable government business,” states Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole Argentieri.
In addition to South Africa and Indonesia, the Securities and Exchange Commission highlighted “bribery schemes” in several other countries, including Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, and Azerbaijan.
Cooperation and Reform
Despite the severity of the charges, SAP was commended by the Justice Department for its cooperation with the investigation. The company took steps to uncover the root causes of the bribery and has allocated additional resources for a restructured ethics and compliance office.