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Qualcomm Pays $7.5 Million to Settle Allegations of FCPA Violations in China

March 2016, Covington Alert

On March 1, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced an agreement with Qualcomm Incorporated to settle charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by hiring relatives of Chinese government officials to gain business advantages in the Chinese telecommunications market. The SEC also alleged that Qualcomm provided gifts, travels, and entertainment -- including hospitality at sporting events such as the Olympics -- to Chinese officials and their family members to try to influence these officials to adopt and retain its technologies. According to the SEC, Qualcomm misrepresented these improper benefits in its books and records as legitimate business expenses. Qualcomm agreed to pay a civil money penalty of $7.5 million to the SEC without admitting or denying the SEC findings.

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