Hewlett Packard, one of the last big tech giants from the early computer boom of the 1960s and the founder of “Silicon Valley” as we know it, was last week found guilty of bribing Russian government officials to secure contracts with the government and various departments within the Russian government. Executives based in Russia created a slush fund for bribes to government officials and paid over $2 million to secure contracts between 2000 and 2007. This is part of a larger court case against HP which involved corrupt activities in their Russian, Poland and Mexican headquarters. In most cases there were bribes to government officials involved as well as the “donation” of free equipment and software. HP was originally required to pay fines to the tune of $108 million, but after pleading guilty to the charges US District Judge Lowell Jensen lowered the fine to $58.8 million.
“The misconduct described in the settlement was limited to a small number of people who are no longer employed by the company”, said HP executive vice president and general counsel John Schultz.