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Daimler – Yet Another Bribery, Yet No Bribery Case

In a criminal information filed yesterday (see here) in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the DOJ alleges that:

“[b]etween 1998 and January 2008, DAIMLER made hundreds of improper payments worth tens of milions of dollars to foreign officials in at least 22 countries – including China, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Latvia, Nigeria, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and others – to assist in securing contracts with government customers for the purchase of DAIMLER vehicles valued at hundreds of milions of dollars. In some cases, DAIMLER wired these improper payments to US. bank accounts or to the foreign bank accounts ofU. S. shell companies in order to transmit the bribe. In at least one instance, a US. shell company was incorporated for the specific purpose of entering into a sham consulting agreement with DAIMLER in order to conceal improper payments routed through the shell company to foreign governent offcials. Certain improper payments even continued as late as January 2008. In all cases, DAIMLER improperly recorded these payments in its corporate books and records.”

However, in what is becoming a distubring and troubling new norm (i.e. Siemens, BAE) Daimler was NOT charged with FCPA antibribery violations.

Stay tuned for additional analysis of the 78 page criminal information.

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