Articles Tagged with foreign bribe

The former President and the former Chief Legal Officer of Cognizant Technology have been indicted for paying approximately $2 million through company employees and agents, to government officials in India to secure obtain required permits on an office park. There were also other payments in connections with other projects. The the Cognizant President Gordon Coburn and Chief Legal Officer Steven Schwartz allegedly authorized a contractor to pay the bribes and directed subordinates to conceal it. Congnizant agrees to disgorge $19 million and pay a penalty of $6 million.

To conceal the scheme, Coburn, Schwartz and others allegedly agreed that a third-party construction company would obtain the permit by making the illegal bribe payment and that Cognizant would reimburse the construction company through phony construction invoices at the end of the project.  The indictment  alleges that in or about late June 2014, after the co-conspirators had agreed that the construction company would make the bribe payment on behalf of Cognizant, the construction company secured the necessary government order for Cognizant to obtain the permit, allowing Cognizant to complete the development of the office campus and avoid millions of dollars in costs.  Months later, the co-conspirators are alleged to have knowingly caused Cognizant to funnel over $2 million to the construction company disguised as payment for cost overruns on the office campus when they knew that the actual purpose of the payment was to reimburse the construction company for the bribe payment.  According to the indictment, as Coburn, Schwartz and others had previously agreed, they hid the bribe reimbursement payment within a series of line items in a construction change order request to be paid to the construction company, thereby concealing the true nature and purpose of the reimbursement, falsifying Cognizant’s books and records, and circumventing and failing to implement its internal controls.

Gordon Coburn, 55, of Beaver Creek, Colorado, and Steven Schwartz, 51, of Greenwich, Connecticut, were charged in a 12-count indictment with one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), three counts of violating the FCPA, seven counts of falsifying books and records, and one count of circumventing and failing to implement internal accounting controls.  The charges stem from an alleged scheme to bribe one or more government officials in India to ensure the issuance of a construction permit necessary to complete the development of an office campus that would support thousands of employees and become one of Cognizant’s largest facilities in India.

briberyFCPA is Being Encouraged to Fight Foreign Bribery

The US Justice Department is apparently bulking up its anti-foreign bribery program.  According to HETQ, the US plans to expand benefits for companies who report on any acts of foreign bribery their employees may have committed.  Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the new policy at the 34th International Conference on the FCPA in Maryland.

The FCPA

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act defines a bribe as anything of value. Payments by companies to foreign leaders or others abroad is a violation of law and could also violate the Federal False Claims Act where U.S.government money is involved. Bribes are bribes even when paid directly or indirectly through foreign subsidiaries or agents. Some of the most substantial whistleblower cases are now arising from foreign bribes. Anyone with original information about such bribes, if presented in the right way, could yield a significant reward of upto 30% of the amount recovered. Whistleblower do not have to be U.S. citizens. JeffreyNewmanLaw is presently handling several whislteblower claims arising out of foreign bribes. If you have original information about such bribes, contact Attorney Newman by email at jeffrey.newman1@gmail.com