Oracle to Pay $23M to Settle Bribery Charges against Asian Subsidiaries

<p class="MsoNormal">Oracle Corporation, a Texas-headquartered American software and technology company, has agreed to pay more than $23 million to settle bribery charges against its subsidiaries in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and India. </p><p class="MsoNormal">The US <a href="" target="_blank" id="3718b4df-fc5f-479a-861e-f52759439c15_1" class="terms__main-term">Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC</a>) disclosed on Monday that it charged <a href="" target="_blank">Oracle</a> with violating the country’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) through its subsidiaries.</p><p class="MsoNormal">The FCPA prohibits a US citizen or company from offering, paying or promising to pay money to any foreign official in order to secure or retain a business deal.</p><p class="MsoNormal">However, <a href="" target="_blank">the American regulator</a> said its investigation found that the subsidiaries violated the Act by creating and using slush funds to bribe foreign officials in return for business between 2016 and 2019.</p><p class="MsoNormal">The investigation was conducted with the assistance of the Capital Markets Board of Turkey, the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority, and the Securities and Exchange Board of India.</p><p class="MsoNormal">The regulator explained: “According to the SEC’s order, Oracle subsidiaries in Turkey and UAE also used the slush funds to pay for foreign officials to attend technology conferences in violation of Oracle policies and procedures. </p><p class="MsoNormal">“The order found that in some instances, employees of the Turkey subsidiary used these funds for the officials’ families to accompany them on international conferences or take side trips to California.”</p><p class="MsoNormal">The SEC in the statement noted that Oracle neither admitted nor denied the SEC’s findings. </p><p class="MsoNormal">However, the company has “agreed to cease and desist from committing violations of the anti-bribery, books and records, and internal accounting controls provisions of the FCPA,” the SEC said.</p><p class="MsoNormal">In addition, the technology company agreed to pay a $23 million <a href="" target="_blank">settlement</a> that is comprised of approximately $8 million in disgorgement and a $15 million penalty.</p><p class="MsoNormal">Speaking on the charges, Charles Cain, the SEC’s FCPA Unit Chief, noted that the case highlighted the critical importance of effective internal accounting controls across all of a company’s operations.</p><p class="MsoNormal">“The creation of off-book slush funds inherently gives rise to the risk that those funds will be used improperly, which is exactly what happened here at Oracle’s Turkey, UAE, and India subsidiaries,” added Cain.</p><p class="MsoNormal text-align-justify">Previous Violation of FCPA</p><p class="MsoNormal">The new case marks the second time the SEC has charged Oracle for violating provisions of the FCPA. </p><p class="MsoNormal">In 2012, the SEC charged Oracle with violating the FCPA by failing to prevent its Indian subsidiary from secretly setting aside money off the company's books.</p><p class="MsoNormal">The SEC alleged that the fund was eventually used to make unauthorized <a href="" target="_blank" id="f1d2a713-da14-4a6b-8fcd-e8f360d07f45_1" class="terms__secondary-term">payments</a> to phoney vendors in India. </p><p class="MsoNormal text-align-justify">Oracle paid $2 million at the time to settle the charges.</p> This article was written by Solomon Oladipupo at

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