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Technology

Technology

SAP to pay $222 million to settle US bribery charges

The logo of German software group SAP is pictured at the headquarters of SAP (Schweiz) AG in Regensdorf, Switzerland January 22, 2021. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
The logo of German software group SAP is pictured at the headquarters of SAP (Schweiz) AG in Regensd... The logo of German software group SAP is pictured at the headquarters of SAP (Schweiz) AG in Regensdorf, Switzerland January 22, 2021. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
The logo of German software group SAP is pictured at the headquarters of SAP (Schweiz) AG in Regensdorf, Switzerland January 22, 2021. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
The logo of German software group SAP is pictured at the headquarters of SAP (Schweiz) AG in Regensd... The logo of German software group SAP is pictured at the headquarters of SAP (Schweiz) AG in Regensdorf, Switzerland January 22, 2021. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

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According to U.S. officials, on Wednesday, the German software corporation SAP (SAPG.DE) agreed to pay around $222 million to end investigations into bribery schemes in seven nations.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, SAP has agreed to settle criminal charges relating to its alleged scheme to bribe government officials in South Africa and Indonesia to gain business through a three-year deferred prosecution agreement.

In addition, SAP and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission agreed to a parallel civil settlement to address allegations of comparable purported bribery schemes in South Africa, Indonesia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, and Tanzania.

U.S. Attorney Jessica Aber of the Eastern District of Virginia said the corporation “has accepted responsibility for corrupt practices that hurt honest businesses engaging in global commerce.” According to the Justice Department, SAP’s compensation consists of a criminal fine of $118.8 million and a forfeiture of $103.4 million.

SAP said it was pleased with the settlements and a related agreement with the National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa.

The Walldorf, Germany-based firm stated that the agreements stopped all compliance-related inquiries in the U.S. and South Africa and “separated from all responsible parties” more than five years ago.

According to the authorities, the suspected bribery schemes entailed forging SAP’s books and records between 2013 and 2022 to make the bribes seem like acceptable business costs. To get a $13.2 million contract with Johannesburg, SAP South Africa allegedly paid for government officials’ travels to New York in 2015, including lunches and golf excursions.

An SAP Indonesia account executive was also said to have texted an intermediary, saying something like, “Hehehe. This is government, bro. To catch a big fish, we need to use a large bait.”

According to the Justice Department, SAP was commended for improving its internal controls and compliance procedures, revamping its commission structure, and assisting with its investigation.

It stated that SAP started working with them when allegations of misbehavior appeared in the South African media in 2017. If SAP followed its deferred prosecution arrangement, the federal criminal charges in the United States would be dropped after three years.


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