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FCC Fines Siemens $175K For Past Crimes

Siemens To Pay $175,000 Fine For Failing To Disclose Felony Convictions

The Federal Communications Commission has announced that Siemens Corporation and Siemens Medical Solutions as wireless license holders will pay a 175 thousand dollar fine for failing to disclose prior felony convictions as required by law

Siemens Corporation and Siemens Medical Solutions have agreed to pay $175,000 to resolve a Federal Communications Commission investigation into whether the companies failed to disclose corporate felony convictions as required by the Commission’s rules.  Siemens, Siemens Medical, and some of their subsidiaries hold numerous FCC wireless licenses and were required to disclose prior criminal convictions for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and, separately, obstruction of justice on their applications. 

“A felony conviction is a serious offense that the Commission considers when deciding whether a company is fit to hold a license or other authorization,” said Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc.  “It is our duty to ensure that any person or company that fails to submit candid, complete, and accurate information about their background – criminal or otherwise – will be held accountable.” 

Under FCC rules, wireless license holders, like Siemens, Siemens Medical, and some of their subsidiaries, are required to disclose any felony convictions in their license applications.  Such disclosures are important to the Commission’s role of ensuring that licenses to use wireless spectrum are provided to appropriate entities.  Siemens, Siemens Medical, and some of their subsidiaries failed to meet their statutory and regulatory obligation to timely disclose its felony conviction on applications filed between 2007 and mid-2015. 

The FCC Enforcement Bureau’s investigation found that, in 2008, Siemens AG, the parent company of Siemens and Siemens Medical, pleaded guilty to criminal charges of violating the internal accounting provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).  Some Siemens AG subsidiaries also pleaded guilty to criminal charges for conspiracy to violate provisions of the FCPA arising from bribes and kickbacks paid to foreign government officials to secure government contracts for projects like a national identity card in Argentina and telecommunications equipment in Bangladesh and Nigeria.  That case resulted in Siemens AG paying $450 million in criminal fines to the United States Department of Justice and a $350 million disgorgement to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.  In addition, in 2007, Siemens Medical pleaded guilty to a single federal charge of obstruction of justice in connection with a civil matter, paying $2.5 million in fines and restitution.  

Siemens and Siemens Medical fully cooperated with the Bureau’s investigation. As part of today’s settlement, Siemens and Siemens Medical will pay a $175,000 fine. Both companies will also adopt a compliance plan to prevent future failures to disclose the felonies at issue or any other material factual information in future Commission license applications.  The plan requires Siemens and Siemens Medical to develop and implement procedures to monitor compliance with the Commission’s rules governing the making of truthful and accurate statements to the Commission. The companies must also designate a senior manager as a compliance officer, develop a comprehensive training program, and report to the Enforcement Bureau regularly on compliance.

Source: FCC release

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