HP in 'Advanced' Talks to Resolve FCPA Probes
PALO ALTO — Hewlett-Packard Co. reported Monday that it may be close to settling investigations with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice concerning possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in connection with a Russian technology contract.
The government probes focus on a technology deal between a former HP subsidiary in Germany and the Russian General Prosecutor's Office. HP and some current and former employees allegedly paid nearly $11 million in bribes to win the IT network contract.
"HP is in advanced discussions with the U.S. enforcement agencies to resolve their investigations," the company's annual report states. The filing also notes that the SEC and DOJ are examining additional public sector transactions in Russia, Poland, Mexico and other countries.
HP has not disclosed what law firm represents the company in the FCPA probe. In 2010, when the matter first came to light, sources told The American Lawyer, a Recorder affiliate, that Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Linklaters were counseling the company on domestic and European issues, respectively. Los Angeles partner Debra Wong Yang, co-chair of the crisis management and white-collar defense groups, and Washington partner F. Joseph Warin were said to be leading the Gibson team.
Yang could not be reached for comment Monday. Michael Thacker, HP's corporate media relations director, said the company would not comment beyond the 10-K filing.
The annual report also discusses legal matters stemming from HP's botched acquisition of British software firm Autonomy, including a flurry of shareholder suits consolidated in the Northern District of California. In November 2012, HP announced it had written down $8.8 billion of the $11 billion it had paid for Autonomy, triggering investigations by the DOJ, SEC and the U.K. Serious Fraud Office.
"HP is cooperating with the three investigating agencies," the company states.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer ruled that a securities fraud class action could proceed against the company and its CEO, Meg Whitman.
Chelsea Allison writes for The Recorder, an American Lawyer affiliate.