A former executive has agreed to settle charges that he violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by bribing Panamanian government officials to procure software license sales. Under a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission the man will pay disgorgement of $85,965, the total amount of kickbacks he received, plus prejudgment interest of $6,430. He also pleaded guilty to a criminal charge of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and will be sentenced in December.
The man, a former vice president of global and strategic accounts for the Miami-based subsidiary of a software company headquartered in Germany, orchestrated a scheme to bribe government officials to obtain a multi-million dollar contract to provide a Panamanian state agency with a technology upgrade package. According to an SEC press release, he essentially caused his company to sell software to a partner in Panama at discounts of up to 82 percent, which in turn enabled the partner to create a slush fund from the excessive earnings on the other end of the sales and to use that money to pay the bribes. Further, the man circumvented his company’s internal controls by submitting sham contracts and false invoices to disguise the true nature of the bribes.