Oracle pays $23 million to SEC to settle bribery allegations • The Register

Oracle has paid $23 million to the US Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve corruption allegations that its subsidiaries in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and India have used “slush funds” to bribe foreign officials to conduct business to win.

That The SEC announced on Tuesday that Big Red violated provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) for a three-year period between 2016 and 2019.

The money, which appears to have been secretly set aside, was also spent paying foreign officials to attend technology conferences, in violation of Oracle’s own internal policies and procedures. And the SEC said it found in some cases that Oracle employees at the Turkish subsidiary had spent the funds taking officials’ families to international conferences or trips to California.

“The creation of slush funds inevitably creates the risk of those funds being misused, and that is exactly what has happened here at Oracle’s subsidiaries in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and India,” said Charles Cain, head of the FCPA Office. unit at the SEC.

“This matter underscores the critical need for effective internal accounting controls throughout an organization’s operations,” he added.

Oracle has agreed, without admitting or denying the findings of the SEC investigation, to “cease and refrain from violating bribery, books and records, and FCPA internal accounting controls,” the commission said.

As a result, the software giant, which reported operating income of $10.9 billion on sales of $42.4 billion in fiscal 2022, has agreed to face a $15 million penalty and $8 million levy to pay dollars. Larry Ellison might be looking for change on the sofa to pay such a hefty fine.

A spokesman for Oracle said The registry: “The behavior described by the SEC is contrary to our core values ​​and clear policies, and if we identify such behavior, we will take appropriate action.”

This isn’t the first time the SEC has accused Oracle of similar financial wrongdoing. If you have a long memory, you might remember it Oracle settled charges in 2012 that referred to the creation of side funds filled with millions of dollars by Oracle India. On that occasion, the SEC said there was a risk that these funds could be used for illegal purposes.

Certain subsidiary employees had, on more than a dozen occasions, structured sales with the Indian government in such a way that Oracle’s local distributors held approximately US$2.2 million of the funds in a slush fund. Payments were then forwarded to local vendors who did not provide services to Oracle, and fake invoices were issued.

Oracle was ordered to pay the SEC $2 million on that occasion. Obviously some lessons aren’t learned the first time, we’re hoping the message gets through this time or Big Red could face another mini-fine and more embarrassment. ® Oracle pays $23 million to SEC to settle bribery allegations • The Register

Laura Coffey

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