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Oracle to pay $23M to settle foreign bribery allegations

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Oracle will pay $23 million to settle charges that the company bribed foreign officials through its subsidiaries in several countries, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Tuesday. 

The SEC order alleges that Oracle subsidiaries in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and India used slush funds to bribe officials in return for business between 2016 and 2019. 

As part of the settlement, Oracle did not admit or deny the findings, but agreed to cease and desist from committing violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and pay the settlement, according to the SEC.

“The creation of off-book slush funds inherently gives rise to the risk those funds will be used improperly, which is exactly what happened here at Oracle’s Turkey, UAE, and India subsidiaries,” Charles Cain, the SEC’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act unit chief, said in a statement. “This matter highlights the critical need for effective internal accounting controls throughout the entirety of a company’s operations.”

Oracle subsidiaries in Turkey and the UAE allegedly used slush funds to pay for foreign officials to attend technology conferences, according to the order. The SEC alleges that employees of the Turkey subsidiary used these funds for the officials’ families to accompany them on international conferences or on side trips to California. 

Oracle corporate communications vice president Michael Egbert told CNBC that “The conduct outlined by the SEC is contrary to our core values and clear policies, and if we identify such behavior, we will take appropriate action.”

The Hill has reached out to Oracle for further comment. 

Oracle previously settled in 2012 over charges relating to the creation of slush funds. The previous SEC charges related to allegations of creating millions of dollars of side funds by Oracle India, which created a risk of those funds being used for illicit purposes, the agency said.

Tags bribery Oracle SEC Securities and Exchange Commission

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