NEW YORK — Sweden-based telecommunications company Ericsson will pay over $1 billion as part of a deal to resolve bribery conspiracy charges, prosecutors in New York said Friday.
Prosecutors said Ericsson and the company's subsidiary Ericsson Egypt Limited were charged with conspiring to bribe government officials, falsifying books and records and failing to implement reasonable accounting controls.
They said the charges pertained to criminal conduct that occurred in Djibouti, China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Kuwait from 2000 to 2016.
Representatives of Ericsson Egypt pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court Friday while the parent company admitted its participation in the conspiracy and entered into a deferred prosecution agreement, prosecutors said.
As part of a related settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ericsson agreed to pay $1.06 billion in criminal and regulatory penalties, authorities said.
“Ericsson’s corrupt conduct involved high-level executives and spanned 17 years and at least five countries, all in a misguided effort to increase profits," Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski said in a release.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said Ericsson admitted to a yearslong campaign of corruption.
“Through slush funds, bribes, gifts and graft, Ericsson conducted telecom business with the guiding principle that ‘money talks,'' he added.
A message seeking comment was sent to Ericsson'sU.S. offices. In a release Thursday, the company said it expected to pay $1.2 billion to cover monetary sanctions and related costs, just as it had announced in September. It said it was not commenting beyond acknowledging it was in talks with U.S. authorities.
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