Siemens Anatomy of Bribery

By David Baron
2008 | Case No. P68
In November 2006, 200 German police officers raided the headquarters of Siemens AG, Europe’s leading engineering company, seeking evidence pertaining to widespread bribery. The raid followed extensive investigations of Siemens’ activities that originated from a bank’s internal scrutiny of accounts believed to be used for money laundering. Amid broadening suspicions, the Siemens initiated its own internal investigation, identifying €420 million in suspicious transactions in its telecommunications unit. The company hired a private law firm to conduct an independent internal investigation. The law firm reported that it had identified €1.3 billion in suspicious payments since 1999 and had received “important … new information” that could implicate high-ranking executives. This case follows the bribery investigation, touching on possible causes, the company’s handling of the allegations, and potential safeguards to protect against future problems.
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