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Near-Record U.S. Penalty Seen for VimpelCom in Uzbek Case

  • Russia billionaire-backed firm said near deal in bribery probe
  • Discussed $775 million settlement would be No.2 FCPA fine
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VimpelCom Ltd., a mobile operator partly owned by Mikhail Fridman and other Russian billionaires, is in talks to pay about $775 million -- a near record -- to settle U.S. allegations it paid bribes in Uzbekistan to win business, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The Amsterdam-based company’s resolution with the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission could be announced in January, said the people, who asked not to be identified because details of the proposed settlement aren’t public.