Never trust the krauts

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Spiegel Online reported that the Germany’s Federal Intelligence Agency (BND) spied on EU institutions and France and the US

Nazi Extortion: Study Sheds New Light on Forced Greek Loans

In the fight against corruption, Germany falls behind

Bestiality brothels are 'spreading through Germany' warns campaigner as abusers turn to sex with animals as 'lifestyle choice'

Support for dictatorships

SEC Charges Siemens AG for Engaging in Worldwide Bribery

Spiegel Online reported that the Germany’s Federal Intelligence Agency (BND) spied on EU institutions and France and the US

By NEOnline/GK

BND embroiled in another scandal as Spiegel Online reported that Germany’s intelligence agency was spying on EU institutions, France and the US until late 2013, on its own and not on behalf of the NSA.

The German newsmagazine “Spiegel Online” reported that BND was spying several allied countries until late 2013. The news comes on top, of the April’s 2015 news, that the US National Security Agency (NSA) spied on businesses and countries in Europe via the BND’s foreign intelligence agency’s monitoring station at Bad Aibling in southern Bavaria.

According to the 14 October report, the spying operations by BND may not all have taken place under the guidance of the NSA but also under BND’s own initiative. Spiegel reported that BND, used the technique promoted for NSA, for its own purposes too, which according to Deutsche Welle is “an act which would fall outside its constitutional mandate and qualify as illegal.”

According to Spiegel, France and the United States were reported to be among the nations affected by BND’s spying activities while friendly embassies and EU authorities were also targets. Deutsche Welle, reported that besides Spiegel, public broadcaster RBB revealed that BND aimed to spy on issues, prohibited under the German law.

German politicians have already begun to question whether the BND overstepped its official mandate by interfering in communications of friendly states. During the next week, German MPs are planning to interview BND staff at the headquarters of the intelligence agency in Pullach.

Inquiry committee and the US

According to German tabloid, “Bild,” US intelligence director James Clapper advised US authorities in May to no longer rely on Germany to protect classified documents. Clapper said that the German parliamentary committee which is investigating the spying acts of BND, might circulate classified US material to the media.

“What the German government is staging there is more dangerous than the Snowden revelations,” the document obtained by Bild said.


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Nazi Extortion: Study Sheds New Light on Forced Greek Loans

By , and Walter Mayr

Is Germany liable to Athens for loans the Nazis forced the Greek central bank to provide during World War II? A new study in Greece could increase the pressure on Berlin to pay up.

Loukas Zisis, the deputy mayor of Distomo, a village nestled in the hills about a two hour drive from Athens, says he thinks about the Germans every day. On June 10, 1944, the Germans massacred 218 people in Distomo, including dozens of children. Zisis, who is just 48 years old, wasn't yet born at the time of the attack.

"We can't forget the Germans," Zisis says. They came to Distomo 71 years ago with their guns. "Today they are exerting power over our village with their banks and policies," he adds. He's standing in the wind on a rocky ledge, a small man in a leather jacket, and looking out over the town. Two-thousand people live here.

The massacre, which continues to shape the place today, was one of the most brutal crimes committed by the Nazis in Greece, with the carnage lasting several hours. For decades, a trial over the massacre wound its way through the courts at all levels in Greece and Germany. Greece's highest court, the Areopag, ruled in 2000 that Germany must pay damages to Distomo's bereaved.

"But we are still waiting," says Zisis. "There has been no compensation."

Last week in Greek parliament, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras demanded German reparations payments, indirectly linking them to the current situation in Greece. "After the reunification of Germany in 1990, the legal and political conditions were created for this issue to be solved," Tsipras said. "But since then, German governments chose silence, legal tricks and delay. And I wonder, because there is a lot of talk at the European level these days about moral issues: Is this stance moral?"

Tspiras was essentially countering German allegations that Greece lives beyond its means with the biggest counteraccusation possible: German guilt. Leaving aside the connection drawn by Tsipras, which many consider to be inappropriate, there are many arguments to support the Greek view. SPIEGEL itself reported in February that former Chancellor Helmut Kohl used tricks in 1990 in order to avoid having to pay reparations.

A study conducted by the Greek Finance Ministry, commissioned way back in 2012 by a previous government, has now been completed and contains new facts. The 194-page document has been obtained by SPIEGEL.

Outstanding German Debt

The central question in the report is that of forced loans the Nazi occupiers extorted from the Greek central bank beginning in 1941. Should requests for repayment of those loans be classified as reparation demands -- demands that may have been forfeited with the Two-Plus-Four Treaty of 1990? Or is it a genuine loan that must be paid back? The expert commission analyzed contracts and agreements from the time of the occupation as well as receipts, remittance slips and bank statements.

They found that the forced loans do not fit into the category of classical war reparations. The commission calculated the outstanding German "debt" to the Greek central bank and came to a total sum of $12.8 billion as of December 2014, which would amount to about €11 billion.

As such, at issue between Germany and Greece is no longer just the question as to whether the 115 million deutsche marks paid to the Greek government from 1961 onwards for its peoples' suffering during the occupation sufficed as legal compensation for the massacres like those in the villages of Distomo and Kalavrita. Now the key issue is whether the successor to the German Reich, the Federal Republic of Germany, is responsible for paying back loans extorted by the Nazi occupiers. There's some evidence to indicate that this may be the case.

In terms of the amount of the loan debt, the Greek auditors have come to almost the same findings as those of the Nazis' bookkeepers shortly before the end of the war. Hitler's auditors estimated 26 days before the war's end that the "outstanding debt" the Reich owed to Greece at 476 million Reichsmarks.

Auditors in Athens calculated an "open credit line" for the same period of time of around $213 million. They assumed a dollar exchange rate to the Reichsmark of 2:1 and applied an interest escalation clause accepted by the German occupiers that would result in a value of more than €11 billion today.

'No Ifs or Buts'

This outstanding debt has to be paid back "with no ifs or buts," says German historian Hagen Fleischer in Athens, who knows the relevant files better than anyone else. Even before the new report, he located numerous documents that prove without any doubt, he believes, the character of forced loans. Nazi officials noted on March 20, 1944, for example, that the "Reich's debt" to Athens had totaled 1,068 billion drachmas as of December 31 of the previous year.

"Forced loans as war debt pervade all the German files," says Fleischer, who is a professor of modern history at the University of Athens. He has lived in Athens since 1977 and has since obtained Greek citizenship. He says that files from postwar German authorities about questions of war debt "shocked" him far more than the war documents on atrocities and suffering.

In them, he says German diplomats use the vocabulary of the National Socialists to discuss reparations issues, speaking of a "final solution for so-called war crimes problems," or stating that it was high time for a "liquidation of memory." He says it was in this spirit that compensation payments were also constantly refused. Fleischer had long been accused of bias and he says he is now pleased to have support from Athens -- particularly given that the present study has nothing to do with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' Syriza government.

When work on the study first began in early 2012, the cabinet of independent Prime Minister Loukas Papademos still governed in Athens. A former vice president of the European Central Bank, Papademos formed a six-month transition government after Georgios Papandreou resigned. In April 2014, the successor government of conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras decided to continue work on the study and appointed Panagiotis Karakousis to lead the team of experts. The longtime general director of the Finance Ministry was considered to be politically unobjectionable.

50,000 Pages of Documents

Karakousis spent five months reading 50,000 pages of original documents from the central bank's archives. It wasn't easy reading. The study calculates right down to the gram the amount of gold plundered from private households, especially those of Greek Jews: 7,358.0014 kilograms of pure gold with an equivalent value today of around €235 million. It also notes also how German troops, as they pulled out, quickly took along "the entire cash reserves from branch offices and regional branches" of the central bank: Exactly 634,962,691,995,162 drachmas in notes and coins, which would total about €40 million today.

Above all, the study, with some reservations, provides clarity about the forced loans. "No reasonable person can now doubt that these loans existed and that the repayment remains open," says Karakousis.

This history of the loans began in April 1941, after the German troops rushed to assist their Italian allies and occupied Greece. In order to provide their troops with provisions, the German occupiers demanded reimbursement for their expenses, the so-called occupation costs. It's a cynical requirement, but one that became standard practice after the 1907 Hague Convention.

Out of the ordinary, though, was the Wehrmacht requirement that the Greeks finance the provision of its troops on other fronts -- in the Balkans, in Russia or in North Africa -- despite Hague Convention rules forbidding such a practice. Initially, the German occupiers demanded 25 million Reichsmarks per month from the government in Athens, around 1.5 billion drachmas. But the amount they actually took was considerably higher. The expert commission determined that payments made by the Greek central bank between August and December 1941 totaled 12 billion rather than 7 billion drachmas.

'Unlimited Sums in the Form of Loans'

With their economy laid to waste, the Greeks soon began pushing for reductions. At a conference in Rome, the Germans and Italians decided on March 14, 1942 to halve their occupation costs to 750 million drachmas each. But the study claims that Hitler's deputies demanded "unlimited sums in the form of loans." Whatever the Germans collected over and above the 750 million would be "credited to the Greek government," a German official noted in 1942.

The sums of the forced loans were up to 10 times as high as the occupation costs. During the first half of 1942, they totaled 43.4 billion drachmas, whereas only 4.5 billion for the provision of troops was due.

A number of installment payments, which Athens began pressing for in March 1943, serve to verify the nature of the loans. Historian Fleischer also found records relating to around two dozen payment installments. For example, the payment office of the Special Operations Southeast was instructed on October 6, 1944 to pay, inflation adjusted, an incredible sum of 300 billion drachma to the Greek government and to book it as "repayment."

'Debts Have to Be Paid Back'

In Fleischer's opinion, the report makes unequivocally clear that the Greek demands do not relate to reparations for wartime injustices that could serve as a precedent for other countries. "One can negotiate reparations politically," Fleischer says. "Debts have to be paid back -- even between friends."

Postwar Greek governments sought repayment early on. The German ambassador confirmed on October 15, 1966, for example, that the Greeks had already come knocking "over an alleged claim."

On November 10, 1995, then Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou proposed the opening of talks aimed at a settlement of the "German debts to Greece." He proposed that "every category of these claims would be examined separately." Papandreous' effort ultimately didn't lead anywhere.

So what happens now? What should become of this new study, the contents of which had remained secret before now?

"I am not a politician," says Karakousis, "I've just done my duty."

But the question also remains whether the surviving relatives of the victims of Distomo will ever be provided with justice -- and whether there are similar cases in other countries.

German lawyer Joachim Lau, whose law firm is based in Florence, Italy, represents the interests of village residents of Distomo even today. Lau, born in Stuttgart, a white-haired man of almost 70, is fighting for compensation in the name of the Greek and Italian victims of the Nazis. "I am disappointed by the manner in which Germany is dealing with this question," he says. He says it's not just an issue of financial compensation. More than anything, it is one of justice.

Careless Statements

In February, Lau warned German President Joachim Gauck in an open letter against propagating the "violation of international law" with careless statements about the reparations issue. In his view, the legal situation is clear: Greek and Italian citizens and their relatives affected by "shootings, massacres by the Wehrmacht, by deportations or forced labor illegal under international law" have the right to individual claims.

For the past decade, Lau has been pursuing the claims of the Distomo victims in Italy. The Court of Cassation in Rome affirmed in 2008 that the claims were legitimate and that he could pursue the case. Earlier, the lawyer had already succeeded in securing Villa Vigoni, a palatial estate on the shore of Lake Como owned by Germany -- and used by a private German association focused on promoting German-Italian relations -- as collateral for the suit. In 2009, Lau succeeded in having €51 million in claims made by Deutsche Bahn against Italian state railway Trenitalia seized. On Tuesday, the high court in Rome is expected to rule on the lifting of the enforcement order.

Following a ruling made by Italy's Constitutional Court in October 2014, private suits in Italy against Germany have been possible again. One of the justices who issued the ruling is the current president of Italy, Sergio Mattarella.

It remains unclear whether this ruling will unleash "a wave of new proceedings" in Italy, says Lau, who currently represents 150 cases, including various class-action lawsuits.

Present and Past, Guilt and Anger

Everything connects in the mountain village of Distoma -- the present and past, guilt and anger, the Greek demands on Germany today and past calls for reparations. Efrosyni Perganda sits in the well-heated living room of her home. The diminutive woman, 91 years of age, has alert eyes and wears a black dress. She survived the massacre perpetrated by the Germans at Distomo and she's one of the few witnesses still alive in the village.

When the SS company undertook a so-called act of atonement in Distomo following a fight with Greek partisans, the soldiers also captured her husband. Efrosyni Perganda stood by with her baby as they took him. She never saw him again.

As the Germans began to rampage, she hid behind the bathroom door and later behind the living room door of the house in which she still lives today. She held her baby tightly against her chest. "I forgive my husband's murderers," she says.

Loukas Zisis, the deputy mayor, silently leaves the house as the woman finishes telling her story. He needs a break and heads over to the tavern, where he orders a glass of wine. "I admire Germany: Marx, Engels, Nietzsche," he says. "The prosperity. The degree to which society is organized. But here in the village, we aren't finding peace because the German state isn't settling its debt."

Zisis admires Germany, but the country remains incomprehensible to him. "We haven't even heard a single apology so far," he says once again. "That has to do with Germany's position in Europe." This is something that he just doesn't understand, he says.


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In the fight against corruption, Germany falls behind

Bestiality brothels are 'spreading through Germany' warns campaigner as abusers turn to sex with animals as 'lifestyle choice'

  • Animal welfare officer Madeleine Martin problem of 'erotic zoos' is growing
  • She tells of farmer whose once friendly sheep began refusing human contact
  • So when he put CCTV in his barn he watched men file in and abuse his herd

Bestiality brothels are spreading through Germany faster than ever thanks to a law that makes animal porn illegal but sex with animals legal, a livestock protection officer has warned.

Madeleine Martin told the Frankfurter Rundschau that current laws were not protecting animals from predatory zoophiles who are increasingly able to turn to bestiality as a 'lifestyle choice'.

She highlighted one case where a farmer in the Gross-Gerau region of southwest Germany, noticed his once friendly flock of sheep were beginning to shy away from human contact.

'There are now animal brothels in Germany,' Martin told the paper, adding that people were playing down the issue by by describing it as a 'lifestyle choice'.

Armed with a host of similar case studies, Ms Martin is now calling for the government to categorically ban bestiality across the country.

Last November German authorities said they were planning to reinstate an old law forbidding sex with animals after a sharp rise in incidents of bestiality along with websites promoting it.

Parliament began debating changes to the national Animal Protection Code with the agricultural committee of the Bundestag pledging fines of up to £20,000 for a first offence.

Bestiality dropped off the statute books as a crime in 1969 but in recent years the number of people believed to be participating in such acts has increased significantly.

There are even 'erotic zoos' which people can visit to abuse animals ranging from llamas to goats.

Hans-Michael Goldmann, chairman of the agriculture committee, said the government aimed to forbid using an animal 'for individual sexual acts and to outlaw people 'pimping' creatures to others for sexual use.'

German 'zoophile' group ZETA has announced it will mount a legal challenge should a ban on bestiality become law.

'Mere concepts of morality have no business being law,' said ZETA chairman Michael Kiok.

When the 1969 law banning sex with animals was banned the Animal Protection Law was introduced, but it failed to include a specific ban on zoophilia.

The terms bestiality and zoophilia are the formal names for having sex with animals for pleasure.


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Support for dictatorships

About the policy of IMF and World Bank and the German government's policy toward the Bretton Woods institutions spoke with Eric Toussaint. Eric Toussaint is president of the Committee for the Cancellation of the Third World Debt (CADTM) in Liège (Belgium). He wrote "The World Bank. A never ending coup d'etat" (London 2007). In your book you write that the IMF and the World Bank have supported many dictatorships all around the world...

Eric Toussaint: It's very clear that from the beginning, the IMF and the World Bank have supported numerous dictatorships all around the world in accordance with the political interests of the United States and its allies. We can mention for instance, the support given by the IMF and World Bank in the 1950s, '60s and '70s to the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua. We can also mention the IMF and World Bank support for the military dictatorship in Guatemala in 1954, which was installed to replace the democratically elected president Jacobo Arbenz, who wanted to initiate an agrarian reform. If we go on to the '60s, we can mention the military coup of the generals in Brazil, in April 1964, against the left democratic president Joao Goulart, who also wanted to initiate an agrarian reform and nationalize Brazilian oil. There was also support of the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines from 1971/72 up to 1986. Are there also current examples?

Toussaint: Looking at the last few years, we can mention the IMF and World Bank's support of the Idriss Deby regime in Chad, because of the oil companies' strong interest in the pipeline between Chad and Cameroon. The corrupt Idriss Deby regime was not respecting the World Bank's anti-corruption clauses, so the World Bank announced the suspension of disbursement in December 2005. But under pressure of the US government, the World Bank's leadership decided in April 2006 to renew the disbursement in support of the Idriss Deby regime. We can also mention the strong IMF and World Bank support of the Musharraf dictatorship in Pakistan. There is today a large democratic movement in Pakistan, a very active struggle of judges against Musharraf's regime. Meanwhile the World Bank is supporting major projects in Pakistan. Has there been any direct German involvement?

Toussaint: Of course. For example, the German government was actively involved in the support for the Mobutu regime which had been backed by the IMF and World Bank - alongside with the Belgian and the US governments. A member of the board of the Deutsche Bank was sent to Zaire in 1981 to draw up a report on the corruption in the Mobutu regime. His name was Edwin Blumenthal. He wrote a report denouncing the very high level of corruption, but the World Bank, with German complicity and under Belgian and US pressure, never used this report and increased its loans to the Mobutu regime. This took place in the climate of the Cold War and because of German, Belgian, US and other corporations being interested in investing in Zaire. It is also important to mention the support the German government gave the Suharto regime, whose military coup against Sukarno in 1965, had been backed as well by the IMF and the World Bank - notwithstanding the massacre of 500.000 civilians accused of being communist supporters. Germany made a sizable loan to Suharto for his transmigration project. Some 3.200.000 people were deported. For more or less 100.000 people, it was forced deportation, which means it was a crime against humanity. Germany was very actively involved in supporting this project. While Germany was supporting Suharto, his regime also invaded East Timor in 1975 and very repressively exploited the East Timorians. Germany and the US government never criticized the Indonesian policy toward East Timor. I think it would be very important for Germans to examine the possibilities of a lawsuit against those responsible for these policies toward Zaire and Indonesia. What about current examples in Latin America?

Toussaint: When the military coup was carried out against Chavez in April 2002, the person in charge of external relations in the IMF, Thomas Dawson, immediately declared the IMF's support of the coup regime. In April 2005 when Rafael Correa was the minister of finance in Ecuador, he decided to use a portion of the oil revenues to increase the government's social budget. The World Bank and the IMF denounced his policy, demanding that all revenues must go toward repaying the external debt. Rafael Correa didn't accept this demand, and in retaliation, the World Bank and the IMF suspended disbursement to the Ecuadorian government. This is why Rafael Correa, Ecuador's new president, expelled the World Bank representatives from Ecuador this year. We can say that the IMF and the World Bank are now going through a major credibility crisis with Third World governments taking initiatives to form a new instrument to become independent from the IMF and World Bank. For instance, six Latin American governments are now founding the Bank of the South. Do the IMF and World Bank have German support for their policies?

Toussaint: Yes, of course. During the latest crisis of the Wolfowitz leadership of the World Bank, Germany asked the US government to reconsider its support of Paul Wolfowitz. But Germany is supporting the decision of the US to replace Wolfowitz with Robert Zoellick, another US citizen. The German government therefore is not really using its influence inside the World Bank to democratically change its rules. It is totally absurd that, since the very beginning, the president of the World Bank has always been a US citizen, selected by the US president. I think that it is very important to criticize the German government's policy toward the Bretton Woods institutions.


SEC Charges Siemens AG for Engaging in Worldwide Bribery


Washington, D.C., Dec. 15, 2008 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an unprecedented settlement with Siemens AG to resolve SEC charges that the Munich, Germany-based manufacturer of industrial and consumer products violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by engaging in a systematic practice of paying bribes to foreign government officials to obtain business.

Additional Materials

The SEC alleges that Siemens paid bribes on such widespread transactions as the design and construction of metro transit lines in Venezuela, power plants in Israel, and refineries in Mexico. Siemens also used bribes to obtain such business as developing mobile telephone networks in Bangladesh, national identity cards in Argentina, and medical devices in Vietnam, China, and Russia. According to the SEC's complaint, Siemens also paid kickbacks to Iraqi ministries in connection with sales of power stations and equipment to Iraq under the United Nations Oil for Food Program. Siemens earned more than $1.1 billion in profits on these and several other transactions.

Siemens has agreed to pay $350 million in disgorgement to settle the SEC's charges, and a $450 million fine to the U.S. Department of Justice to settle criminal charges. Siemens also will pay a fine of approximately $569 million to the Office of the Prosecutor General in Munich, to whom the company previously paid an approximately $285 million fine in October 2007.

"Public companies that bribe foreign officials are confronting an increasingly well-coordinated international law enforcement effort," said SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. "The SEC has brought a record number of enforcement actions for foreign bribery during the past two years, and heightened international cooperation has been critical to those successful efforts. Seimens paid staggering amounts of money to circumvent the rules and gain business. Now, they will pay for it with the largest settlement in the history of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act since it became law in 1977."

Linda Chatman Thomsen, Director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement, said, "This pattern of bribery by Siemens was unprecedented in scale and geographic reach. The corruption alleged in the SEC's complaint involved more than $1.4 billion in bribes to government officials in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. Our success in bringing the company to justice is a testament to the close, coordinated working relationship among the SEC, the U.S. Department of Justice, and international law enforcement, particularly the Office of the Prosecutor General in Munich."

Cheryl J. Scarboro, an Associate Director in the SEC's Division of Enforcement, said, "The day is past when multi-national corporations could regard illicit payments to foreign officials as simply another cost of doing business. The $1.6 billion in combined sanctions that Siemens will pay in the U.S. and Germany should make clear that these corrupt business practices will be rooted out wherever they take place, and the sanctions for them will be severe."

The SEC's complaint alleges that between March 12, 2001, and Sept. 30, 2007, Siemens created elaborate payment schemes to conceal the nature of its corrupt payments, and the company's inadequate internal controls allowed the conduct to flourish. Siemens made thousands of payments to third parties in ways that obscured the purpose for, and the ultimate recipients of, the money. Employees obtained large amounts of cash from cash desks, which were sometimes transported in suitcases across international borders for bribery. The authorizations for payments were placed on post-it notes and later removed to eradicate any permanent record. Siemens used numerous slush funds, off-books accounts maintained at unconsolidated entities, and a system of business consultants and intermediaries to facilitate the corrupt payments. Siemens made at least 4,283 payments, totaling approximately $1.4 billion, to bribe government officials in return for business to Siemens around the world. In addition, Siemens made approximately 1,185 separate payments to third parties totaling approximately $391 million, which were not properly controlled and were used, at least in part, for such illicit purposes as commercial bribery and embezzlement.

The misconduct involved employees at all levels, including former senior management, and revealed a corporate culture long at odds with the FCPA. The SEC's complaint alleges that despite the company's knowledge of bribery at two of its largest groups — Communications and Power Generation — the tone at the top at Siemens was inconsistent with an effective FCPA compliance program and created a corporate culture in which bribery was tolerated and even rewarded at the highest levels of the company. In November 2006, Siemens' current management began to implement reforms to the company's internal controls, which substantially reduced, but did not entirely eliminate, corrupt payments. All but $27.5 million of the corrupt payments occurred before Nov. 15, 2006.

Siemens violated Section 30A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) by making illicit payments to foreign government officials in order to obtain or retain business. Siemens violated Section 13(b)(2)(B) of the Exchange Act by failing to have adequate internal controls to detect and prevent the payments. Siemens violated Section 13(b)(2)(A) of the Exchange Act by improperly recording the payments in its books and records.

Without admitting or denying the SEC's allegations, Siemens has consented to the entry of a court order permanently enjoining it from future violations of Sections 30A, 13(b)(2)(A), and 13(b)(2)(B) of the Exchange Act; ordering it to pay $350 million in disgorgement of wrongful profits, which does not include profits factored into Munich's fine; and ordering it to comply with certain undertakings regarding its FCPA compliance program, including an independent monitor for a period of four years. Since being approached by SEC staff, Siemens has cooperated fully with the ongoing investigation. Siemens' massive internal investigation and lower level employee amnesty program was essential in gathering facts regarding the full extent of Siemens' FCPA violations.

The SEC acknowledges the assistance of the U.S. Department of Justice, Fraud Section; the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, Fraud and Public Corruption Section; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Internal Revenue Service; the Office of the Prosecutor General in Munich, Germany; the U.K. Financial Services Authority; and the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.

# # #

For more information, contact:

Cheryl J. Scarboro
Associate Director, SEC's Division of Enforcement