SEC plans 'action' over corruption at Lucent China

The SEC has warned Lucent it plans to take action over corruption uncovered at Lucent China in 2004.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned Lucent Technologies to expect an "enforcement action" over violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by executives at its Chinese operations.

In April 2004, Lucent fired the president, chief operating officer, a marketing executive and a finance manager at its Chinese operations following a company investigation into the use of bribery by Lucent executives to secure contracts. The firing of the four executives was the result of FCPA violations uncovered by Lucent, and was reported to the SEC and the U.S. Department of Justice.

On Tuesday, Lucent reported in an SEC filing that it had received a Wells notice from the SEC related to violations of the FCPA by Lucent China. A Wells notice is used to inform a company that SEC staff has made a preliminary recommendation to take action against it.

The FCPA violations uncovered by Lucent in 2004 did not have a material impact on the company's business. However, Lucent is not able to determine whether the ongoing investigation into those violations will have an impact on the company's operations in China or elsewhere, the filing said.

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