The Justice Department has accused Daimler AG of paying bribes to officials of foreign governments.
A case filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., said the company made hundreds of improper payments worth tens of millions of dollars to foreign officials in at least 22 countries from 1998 to 2008, including China, Russia, Egypt and Greece.
Daimler AG was charged with conspiracy and with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits improper payments to officials of other countries.
The charges came in a court filing called as an "information," a document which typically signifies that the person or company charged is preparing to enter a guilty plea as part of a deal with the government to avoid trial.
Daimler engaged in a long-standing practice of paying bribes through the use of offshore bank accounts, deceptive pricing arrangements and third-party intermediaries, according to the court filing.
It said that the bribe payments often were described inside the company as commissions, special discounts or "necessary payments."
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