Oracle bribed officials in India, two other countries; Settles fees

Oracle Corp.’s subsidiaries created and used slush funds to bribe officials in India, Turkey and the UAE in exchange for business between 2016 and 2019, according to the U.S. market regulator. The technology giant has settled the charges.

Oracle must pay more than $23 million to settle charges stemming from conduct that violated provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, according to a statement from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“Oracle subsidiaries in Turkey and the UAE also used the slush funds to pay for foreign officials to attend technology conferences in violation of Oracle’s policies and procedures,” the statement said, citing the SEC order. It cited cases where employees of the Turkish unit used the funds for the officials’ families to accompany them to international conferences or take side trips to California.

Also in 2012, Oracle had settled allegations of creating “millions of dollars in side funds” in its India unit, creating the risk that “these funds could be used for illegal purposes”, the statement said.

“The creation of off-book slush funds inherently gives rise to the risk that these funds will be misused, which is exactly what happened here at Oracle’s subsidiaries in Turkey, the UAE and India,” it said the statement citing Charles Cain, the SEC’s FCPA unit. chief. “This case highlights the critical need for effective internal accounting controls throughout the company’s operations.”

While Oracle did not admit or deny the SEC’s findings, the company agreed to “cease and refrain from committing violations of the anti-bribery, books and records, and internal accounting control provisions of the FCPA.” It agreed to pay about $8 million in disgorgement and a $15 million fine, the statement said.

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