Software maker Oracle Corp. has agreed to pay $2 million to settle federal civil charges of failing to prevent secret payments in its sales operations in India.
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the settlement Thursday. The SEC said Oracle violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by allowing its Indian subsidiary to secretly set aside money that went to phony local vendors. Oracle ran the risk of the secret funds being used for bribes, the SEC said.
The agency said the violations occurred from 2005 to 2007. It said the subsidiary sold software licenses and services to the Indian government and kept some of the sale proceeds off Oracle's books.
Oracle, based in Redwood Shores, Calif., neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing in the settlement.
It said it fired the employees involved in the alleged violations after conducting an investigation. It informed the government and cooperated with the SEC's inquiry.
"Oracle has established policies, programs and controls to deter and detect inappropriate conduct that have been recognized among the best in our industry," company spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger said. "We will continue to maintain a high standard of compliance and accountability for our business around the world."