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Former Cognizant exec agrees to pay $50,000 over Foreign Corrupt Practices Act charges

September 18, 2019

The US Securities and Exchange Commission announced Sept. 13 that the former COO of Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp, Sridhar Thiruvengadam, agreed to settle charges that he violated the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by participating in a plan to bribe a government official in India.

Thiruvengadam agreed to pay a civil penalty of $50,000 without admitting or denying the agency’s findings, according to the SEC.

IT services firm Cognizant had agreed in February to pay a $25 million fine over the incident. Thiruvengadam was one of four executives involved in the incident.

The incident involved a $2 million bribe demanded by an official in the state of Tamil Nadu from the construction firm responsible for building Cognizant’s 2.7 million square foot campus in Chennai India, according to the SEC. Cognizant executives met by videoconference to authorize the bribe payment and devise a plan to cover it up in the company’s books. Thiruvengadam later helped conceal the payment by signing false subcertifications to the management letters Cognizant provided to its independent auditor.

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