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Hellenic Telecom to Investigate Allegations of Improper Payments

April 11 (Bloomberg) -- Hellenic Telecommunications Organization SA, Greece’s biggest phone company, has begun an internal investigation on allegations that between 2003 and 2006 individuals connected to the company received improper payments from U.S.-based Comverse Technology Inc.

Hellenic Telecom “will take all necessary actions in order to safeguard the interests of the group,” the Athens-based company said in an e-mailed statement today. “Management has immediately instructed the relevant departments of the group to fully investigate the issue.”

Comverse agreed to pay $2.8 million in settlements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Justice Department on April 7 for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The violations arose from $536,000 in improper payments to individuals connected to Hellenic Telecom, the U.S. Justice Department said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marcus Bensasson in Athens at mbensasson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net.

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