Oracle will pay about $23 million (nearly Rs. 190 crore) to resolve charges that its units in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and India used slush funds to bribe foreign officials in order to win business, the US Securities and Exchange Commission said on Tuesday.
The case covered alleged wrongdoing from 2014 to 2019, and is the second time the SEC charged Oracle with violating the federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), an anti-bribery law.
According to the regulator, Oracle’s Turkey and UAE units also used slush funds to pay for foreign officials to attend technology conferences in violation of Oracle policies.
Employees of the Turkey unit also used the funds to pay for the officials’ spouses and children to accompany them, or take side trips to Los Angeles and Napa Valley, California, the SEC said.
“The creation of off-book slush funds inherently gives rise to the risk those funds will be used improperly, which is exactly what happened here,” Charles Cain, Chief of the SEC’s FCPA unit, said in a statement.
Oracle, based in Austin, Texas, agreed to pay a $15 million (nearly Rs. 120 crore) civil fine and about $7.9 million (nearly Rs. 60 crore) of disgorgement and interest. It did not admit or deny wrongdoing in agreeing to settle.
“The conduct outlined by the SEC is contrary to our core values and clear policies, and if we identify such behavior, we will take appropriate action,” Oracle spokesman Michael Egbert said.
In 2012, Oracle agreed to pay a $2 million (nearly Rs. 16 crore) fine to settle SEC charges concerning the creation of millions of dollars of unauthorised side funds by Oracle India from 2005 to 2007.