The company agreed to pay $200 million and two of its subsidies will plead guilty to end an U.S. investigation. It appears that Daimler has kept secret accounts at banks in the aforementioned regions for making illicit payments to state authorities. Daimler’s problems started in 2004, when David J. Bazetta, an auditor for the former Daimler-Chrysler subsidiary of the group, claimed that he was fired for complaining about those accounts. He decided to take the case to federal court and file a whistleblower complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor.
Bazetta dropped his complaint in 2005, but the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) went on to investigate if Daimler had contravened the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act through its actions. The investigation also revealed that bribing might have been used as a “common practice” and not only in certain cases. The state authorities said that the case has not been solved yet, despite Daimler’s offer.
“If the DOJ or SEC determine that violations of law have occurred, they could seek criminal or civil sanctions, including monetary penalties, against DaimlerChrysler and certain of its employees, as well as changes to its business practices and compliance programs,” the authorities were quoted as saying by Bloomberg.
You can read the full story on Bloomberg’s website.