UTStarcom agrees to pay $3m in fines

A Californian telecoms company agreed to pay two $1.5m fines for penalties under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

The fine relates to nearly $7m of bribes which UTStarcom Inc. paid to government officials in Asia in order to secure contracts.

"UTStarcom spent millions of dollars on illegal bribes to win and keep customers in Asia," said Marc Fagel, director of the SEC's San Francisco Regional Office. "It is important for corporate America to recognise that resorting to these methods of boosting profits contributes to a culture of corruption that cannot be condoned under U.S. law."

According to the SEC the company bribed Chinese government officials with lavish overseas trips and other gifts.

The SEC said UTStarcom had violated anti-bribery, books and records, and internal controls provisions under the FCPA.

UTStarcom agreed to provide the SEC with annual FCPA compliance reports and certifications for four years, in addition to paying the penalty.