February 15, 2019

IT services company resolves FCPA charges with the DOJ and SEC; two former executives are indicted on FCPA charges

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation, a U.S. IT services provider, resolved FCPA charges with the US Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission related to bribes paid to government officials in India.  The DOJ declined to prosecute Cognizant under its FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy.  In a declination letter dated February 13, 2019, the DOJ stated that its investigation found that Cognizant authorized a contractor to pay $2 million in bribes to Indian government officials in order to secure a planning permit for the development of an office park.  The DOJ declined to prosecute Cognizant, citing the company’s voluntary and timely disclosure of the matter, its cooperation, and the remedial measures taken by the company.  Cognizant agreed to disgorge approximately $19.3 million, against which any amounts paid to the SEC will be credited. 

In settling FCPA antibribery, books and records, and internal controls charges with the SEC, Cognizant, without admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations, agreed to pay disgorgement of $16.4 million, prejudgment interest of $2.8 million, and a civil penalty of $6 million and agreed to a two-year period of self-monitoring and reporting.  The SEC alleged that between 2013 and 2015, Cognizant authorized contractors to pay bribes totaling $3.6 to Indian government officials to obtain permits and approvals on three projects. 

The DOJ and SEC also brought criminal and civil FCPA antibribery, books and records, and internal controls charges against Cognizant’s former president and chief legal officer based on the same conduct. 

DOJ press release | SEC press release

DOJ Declination | SEC Order | SEC Complaint

Indictment |

Cognizant press release