Cognizant pays $25M to settle bribery case

Cognizant pays $25M to settle bribery case

Two former executives charged

Credit: Cognizant

US authorities have announced criminal charges against two former top Cognizant Technology Solutions executives for their roles in a bribery scheme in India, and said the company will pay US$25 million to settle a related civil case.

The US Department of Justice said the former president, Gordon Coburn, and the former chief legal officer, Steven Schwartz, were charged in a 12-count indictment with violating the federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other offences.

According to the indictment, in 2014 Coburn and Schwartz allegedly authorised an unlawful payment of approximately US$2 million to one or more government officials in India to secure and obtain a permit to build a new campus in the country.

Cognizant's payment to the US government, which includes a US$6 million fine and US$19 million in disgorgement and interest, resolves related civil charges brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The information technology services company is based in Teaneck, New Jersey.

Cognizant did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Lawyers for Coburn and Schwartz did not immediately respond to similar requests.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by James Dalgleish and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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