A United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation found that Oracle Corporation bribed foreign officials to win business in Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Vietnam, according to the SEC’s press release . The SEC fined the company $23 million and also required Oracle to seek approval from the SEC for any financial penalties it makes in the future. According to the SEC, Oracle engaged in this illegal conduct to obtain and retain business in these countries.
The Securities and Exchange Commission stated Tuesday that Oracle reached a settlement with the agency after being accused of breaking the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act twice.
According to the SEC, Oracle constructed slush funds used to bribe foreign authorities between 2016 and 2019 through its companies in India, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. According to the SEC, Oracle’s companies also paid foreign dignitaries to attend technology conferences using the money.
The business will pay more than $23 million to resolve the allegations, although it made no admissions or denials about the SEC’s conclusions.
Oracle Corporate Communications Vice President Michael Egbert said, “The activity described by the SEC is opposed to our fundamental principles and explicit standards, and if we uncover such behaviour, we will take necessary action.”
The SEC said that the business had reached a settlement in 2012 after Oracle India formed side funds worth millions of dollars.
The accusations, according to Charles Cain, head of the SEC’s FCPA branch, underline the need for “strong internal accounting controls” at Oracle.
The potential that off-book slush money may be misused is inherent, he added, and that is precisely what occurred at Oracle’s subsidiaries in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and India. Those subsidiaries funded expensive hospitality events as well as college scholarships for relatives of government officials.
In some cases, Oracle employees deliberately misled their superiors about how much was spent on certain activities, according to the SEC filing.