The SEC has sued IBM for bribing Chinese and South Korean government officials with cash, gifts, and travel, in exchange for government contracts. The Wall Street Journal reported the lawsuit this afternoon.
IBM has agreed to pay a $10 million fine to settle the civil suit without admitting guilt, but the settlement is still subject to approval
Managers at IBM and a partly-owned joined venture allegedly paid South Korean officials more than $200,000 between 1997 and 2003. In China, the bribes allegedly ran from 2004 to 2009 and involved more than 100 employees at a Chinese IBM subsidiary.
The filing claims that IBM used travel agents and business partners as “conduits” for the improper payments.
IBM neither admits nor denies the charges.