This is fascinating. What if governments around the world took this tack, suing the companies that bribed their officials? Could be a great way to get back some of their losses.
Petroleos Mexicanos, Mexico’s state- owned oil company, filed a $1.5 billion lawsuit against Siemens AG (SIE) and South Korea-based SK Engineering & Construction Co., claiming the companies bribed Pemex officials to win and keep refinery construction projects.
Siemens, which in 2008 paid $1.6 billion to settle a bribery investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, conspired with SK Engineering and a joint venture partner to bribe Pemex officials while bidding on a refinery modernization project in Mexico’s Cadereyta region, the oil company alleged in a complaint filed yesterday in Manhattan federal court.
The contract was awarded to the joint venture in 1997, according to the complaint. The defendants later bribed Pemex officials to keep the contract, when the project was plagued by cost overruns and disputes over the work, according to Pemex.
“Plaintiffs suffered millions of dollars of harm from the selection of an inadequate contractor, the acceptance of harmful contractual terms, and the acceptance of significant cost overruns,” Pemex said in the complaint.