Alcatel Settles Bribery Charges for $137 Million

Paul Lilly

Alcatel-Lucent has agreed to cut a check for $137 million to settle charges of paying bribes to foreign government officials to illegally lure business contracts in Latin America and Asia, according to the Associated Press .

The Securities and Exchange Commission accused Alcatel of bribing government officials in Costa Rica, Honduras, Malaysia , nd Taiwan between December 2001 and June 2006. All of the bribery payouts were undocumented or covered up as consulting fees by Alcatel subsidiaries.

"We take responsibility for and regret what happened and have implemented policies and procedures to prevent these violations from happening again," said Steve Reynolds, general counsel for Alcatel.

Upon court approval, Alcatel will pay more than $45 million to settle the SEC's charges, and another $92 million to settle separate criminal charges with the Justice Department.

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