U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 22676 / April 16, 2013
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Uriel Sharef, et al., Civil Action No. 11-Civ.-09073 (S.D.N.Y.) (SAS)
Former Siemens Executive Uriel Sharef Settles Bribery Charges
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that on April 15, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a final judgment against Uriel Sharef, a former officer and board member of Siemens Aktiengesellschaft (Siemens). The settlement resolves the Commission's civil action against Sharef for his role in Siemens' decade-long bribery scheme to retain a $1 billion government contract to produce national identity cards for Argentine citizens. The final judgment, to which Sharef consented, enjoins him from violating the anti-bribery and related internal controls provisions of the FCPA and orders him to pay a $275,000 civil penalty, the second highest penalty assessed against an individual in an FCPA case.
On December 13, 2011, the Commission filed a civil action against Uriel Sharef and six other defendants, alleging that between 2001 and 2007, Sharef, along with other Siemens executives, paid bribes to senior government officials in Argentina in connection with a government contract to provide national identity cards to all Argentine citizens. The officials included two Argentine presidents and cabinet ministers in two presidential administrations. During this period, Sharef was a member of Siemens Managing Board, or “Vorstand,” and was the most senior officer charged in connection with the scheme. Sharef met with payment intermediaries in the United States and agreed to pay $27 million in bribes to Argentine officials. Sharef also enlisted subordinates to conceal the payments by circumventing Siemens' internal accounting controls.
According to the SEC's complaint, approximately $31.3 million of the $100 million in bribes paid were made after March 12, 2001, when Siemens became a U.S. issuer subject to U.S. securities laws. As a result of the bribe payments it made, Siemens received an arbitration award in 2007 against the government of Argentina of more than $217 million plus interest for the contract. In August 2009, after settling bribery charges with the U.S. and Germany, Siemens waived the arbitration award.
The final judgment permanently enjoins Sharef from violating Sections 30A and 13(b)(5) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 13b2-1 thereunder, and from aiding and abetting Siemens' violations of Exchange Act Sections 13(b)(2)(A) and13(b)(2)(B). The judgment also orders Sharef to pay a civil penalty of $275,000. Sharef settled the SEC charges without either admitting or denying the allegations in the SEC's complaint.
The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Department of Justice, Fraud Section, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Office of the Prosecutor General in Munich, Germany in this matter.