Hewlett-Packard Says Bribery Investigation Expanded

Hewlett-Packard Co., under international investigation for potential violations of laws prohibiting bribery in Russia, said U.S. prosecutors and regulators expanded the probe to include other regions.

The U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are examining whether Hewlett-Packard violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act with deals in Russia, Serbia and the Commonwealth of Independent States dating back to 2000, according to a statement in a regulatory filing yesterday.

Investigators also are seeking information related to two former Hewlett-Packard executives who worked in Russia and whether employees in Russia, Germany, Austria, Serbia, the Netherlands or the CIS “were involved in kickbacks or other improper payments to channel partners, or state-owned or private entities,” according to the filing.

Hewlett-Packard, the biggest maker of personal computers and printers, said it’s cooperating with the investigation.

The Justice Department and the SEC joined a probe by German prosecutors in September into Hewlett-Packard’s practices, according to a regulatory filing from the company at the time. Hewlett-Packard is based in Palo Alto, California.

Germany shared their findings in the case with U.S. investigators after receiving a request for legal assistance, Wolfgang Klein, spokesman for Saxony’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office, said in an interview today. SEC and Justice Department personnel came to Germany twice this year for meetings, he said.

Dresden

Prosecutors in Dresden, Germany, are investigating whether current and former Hewlett-Packard employees engaged in bribery, embezzlement and tax evasion relating to a 35 million-euro ($47 million) transaction between a former German subsidiary and the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation, according.

German investigators reviewed information they received from other countries, including Russia, which prompted new leads and requests to more countries for assistance, Klein said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Schneider in Sydney at jschneider5@bloomberg.net; Karin Matussek in Berlin at kmatussek@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sylvia Wier at swier@bloomberg.net

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