Siemens Is Sued for Rights Violations by Argentine

Sept. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Siemens AG, Europe’s largest engineering company, was sued by an ex-investigator for Argentina’s government who claimed the company had a former employee beat him after he uncovered corruption in a government contract.

Carlos Moran filed his lawsuit yesterday in federal court in Miami. Moran, who worked as an investigator for an Argentine government agency, claimed the Munich-based company and its Argentine unit were responsible for attacks he suffered after discovering alleged bribes and kickbacks in a $1 billion contract Siemens won to produce a national identity card.

Moran said in his complaint that he has been subject to “physical assaults at gunpoint, being run off the road, stalking, continuous harassing phone calls to his home, threats of kidnapping and threats to burn down his home,” which he blames on “mercenaries hired by Siemens Argentina” seeking to intimidate him.

Alexander Becker, a spokesman for Siemens, didn’t immediately return an e-mail after business hours seeking comment on the lawsuit. Another Siemens spokesman, Philipp Encz, didn’t return a telephone call after business hours seeking comment.

The suit was brought under the U.S. Alien Tort Claims Act and seeks $100 million in damages.

Contract Canceled

Argentina in 2001 canceled Siemens’s contract to produce identity cards, according to the complaint.

In December, eight former Siemens executives were charged by U.S. prosecutors with conspiring to bribe Argentine officials, including cabinet ministers and presidents, to land the contracts and cover up evidence of the payoffs.

Siemens pleaded guilty four years ago to violating U.S. anti-corruption laws and agreed to pay $1.6 billion to settle bribery probes in the U.S. and Germany.

The civil lawsuit is Moran v. Siemens, 12-cv-23334, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (Miami).

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at