U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 22923 / February 10, 2014
Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Release No. 3533 / February 10, 2014
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Uriel Sharef et al., Civil Action No. 11-CIV-09073 (S.D.N.Y.) (SAS)
SEC Concludes Its Case Against Former Siemens Executives Charged with Bribery in Argentina, Obtaining Judgments over $1.8 Million
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that on February 3, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a final judgment against Andres Truppel, a former CFO of Siemens Argentina. On February 4, 2014, the Court also entered a final judgment against Ulrich Bock and Stephan Signer, both former Heads of Major Projects at Siemens Aktiengesellschaft (Siemens). The judgments resolve the Commission’s Civil Action against Truppel, Bock and Signer for their role in a decade long bribery scheme at Siemens and its regional company in Argentina.
On December 13, 2011, the Commission filed a Civil Action charging Bock, Signer, Truppel and four other senior executives of Siemens and its regional company in Argentina with violations of the anti-bribery, books and records, and internal controls provisions of the FCPA. The Commission alleged that between 2001 and 2007, the defendants paid bribes to senior government officials in Argentina to retain a $1 billion contract (“the DNI contract”) to produce national identity cards for Argentine citizens. The officials included two Argentine presidents and cabinet ministers in two presidential administrations.
The Commission’s complaint alleged that Bock and Signer, both senior Siemens managers based in Germany, took various actions to revive the DNI contract after it was cancelled by government officials in Argentina, and made sure that the bribery connected to the contract went undetected. Truppel, a former CFO of Siemens Argentina with close ties to government officials, assisted their efforts. The Commission’s complaint also alleged that Uriel Sharef, a member of Siemens Managing Board, or “Vorstand,” and the most senior officer charged in connection with the scheme, met with payment intermediaries in the U.S. and agreed to pay bribes to Argentine officials while enlisting subordinates to conceal payments and circumvent Siemens’ internal accounting controls.
The final judgment as to Bock and Signer enjoins them from violating Sections 30A and 13(b)(5) of the Exchange Act, and Rule 13b2-1 thereunder, and from aiding and abetting Siemens’ violations of Exchange Act Sections 31(b)(2)(A) and 13(b)(2)(B), and orders them to each pay a civil penalty of $524,000, the highest penalty assessed against individuals in an FCPA case. The judgment also orders Bock to pay disgorgement of $316,452, plus prejudgment interest thereon in the amount of $97,505. Bock and Signer failed to respond to the Commission’s complaint.
The final judgment as to Truppel enjoins him from violating Sections 30A and 13(b)(5) of the Exchange Act, and Rule 13b2-1 thereunder, and from aiding and abetting Siemens’ violations of Exchange Act Sections 13(b)(2)(A) and 13(b)(2)(B), and orders him to pay a civil penalty of $80,000. Truppel settled the Commission’s charges without admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint.
This concludes the SEC’s case. The Commission previously announced that on April 16, 2013, a final judgment was entered by the Court against Uriel Sharef, a former officer and board member of Siemens, for his role in the long standing bribery scheme. The final judgment, to which Sharef consented without admitting or denying the allegations in the Commission’s complaint, enjoined him from violating the anti-bribery and related books and records and internal controls provisions of the FCPA, and ordered him to pay a $275,000 civil penalty. Bernd Regendantz settled with the Commission when the complaint was filed, and allegations against Herbert Steffen and Carlos Sergi were dismissed. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Department of Justice, Fraud Section, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of the Prosecutor General in Munich, Germany and authorities in Argentina.