Poland says HP to admit to bribes and corruption

The Polish government said Hewlett-Packard Company was preparing to acknowledge corrupt activities at its Polish subsidiary, Hewlett-Packard Polska.

Polish officials said dozens of people had been charged as part of a graft investigation. Among those charged were representatives of major information technology companies, government officials and former police officers. The government said some 70 charges had been brought against 41 people.

"It's a breakthrough moment in Poland when a great international company acknowledges its corrupt activities in Poland," said Interior Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz. 

The minister said Poland's Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA) had cooperated with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Exchange Commission on the issue. CBA said it launched an investigation of major IT companies in Poland in 2011. 

The central suspect in the investigation was the former director of the IT Projects Center, a state agency that oversees IT systems for government institutions. Government prosecutors said this official faces charges of accepting financial benefits worth over $992,800.

Overall charges include offering and accepting bribes and taking part in collusion over tenders. Prosecutors said the investigation was still in progress.

(Credit: Hewlett-Packard Company)HP offices in Poland.

Media reports said HP's Polish unit was not available for comment and its head of communications for Europe, the Middle East and Africa could not immediately be reached.

CBA and the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission began investigating potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in September 2013 by an employee of an indirect subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard Polska in connection with certain public sector transactions in Poland.

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