DaimlerChrysler faces $640 mn fine
A former employee had alleged that the company kept secret bank accounts to bribe foreign government officials.india Updated: May 24, 2006 11:43 IST
DaimlerChrysler could face a fine of $640 million as a result of a bribery probe by the US justice department and the US stock market regulator, a German weekly said.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) began their investigations in 2004 after a complaint filed by a former employee of the world's fifth-biggest carmaker.
The employee, who Daimler claim to have sacked for falsifying financial information, alleged that the company kept secret bank accounts to bribe foreign government officials.
The carmaker said in March that an internal investigation, running parallel to the SEC and DOJ probe, found irregular payments had been made in Africa, Asia and eastern Europe.
Citing information from within the company, Der Spiegel said that the carmaker and US authorities were in talks about a settlement under which DaimlerChrysler would pay the fine.
Der Spiegel also said that DaimlerChrysler would be forced to change its internal accounting system to ensure that it would no longer be possible to make bribes.
A DaimlerChrysler spokesman declined to comment on the report, saying only, "The investigation continues."
In its 2005 annual report, the carmaker warned that it could face fines if the SEC or DOJ finds it has violated the US law banning foreign bribes.
"If the DOJ or the SEC determines that violations of US law have occurred, it could seek criminal or civil sanctions, including monetary penalties, against DaimlerChrysler and some of its employees," the carmaker said.
First Published: May 21, 2006 18:56 IST