IBM Settles Bribery Charge With $10 Million

IBM has received a slap on the wrist from the U.S. regulators at the Securities and Exchange Commission in the form of a $10 million fine.

The fine addresses the SEC's belief that IBM used bribes in its business dealings in South Korea and China.

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, IBM employees in South Korea paid 16 government officials a total of $207,000 in cash bribes from 1998 to 2003 to secure the sale of mainframes and personal computers. The cash was supposedly stuffed into shopping bags and IBM envelopes and then handed over in secret meetings in parking lots.

IBM is also accused of providing personal vacations for Chinese government officials from 2004 to early 2009. IBM employees in China supposedly created a slush fund at travel agencies to pay for vacation and sightseeing packages.

The $10 million settlement with the SEC is composed of $5.3 million in disgorged profit, $2.7 million in interest and a penalty of $2 million.

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  • jkflipflop98
    I like how the punishment for bribery is a forced bribe.
  • Other Comments
  • bigman8291
    Lol @ IBM
  • alyon
    Big surprise. Business ethics in Korea/China are almost non-existent.

    Funny fact: Almost all Korean owned nail salons and dry cleaners tax evade. I get to look at many of their private statements... lets just say with their claimed income paying rent would not be possible but the amount is always paid. Usually they do this by not claiming all business done in cash.
  • jkflipflop98
    I like how the punishment for bribery is a forced bribe.