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Hewlett-Packard Admits To International Bribery and Money Laundering Schemes

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the was-that-wrong? dept.

Crime 139

First time accepted submitter CP (1315157) writes "Hewlett-Packard has admitted to [bribery and money laundering] in order to profiteer off of lucrative government contracts in Russia, Poland, and Mexico, according to court documents. HP's guilty plea carries with it a $108 million penalty — a combination of SEC penalties, as well as criminal fines and forfeitures paid out to the Department of Justice. Thus far no criminal charges have been brought against American HP executives. The multi-agency investigation, which was conducted by multi-national law enforcement partners, the FBI, IRS, and SEC, has revealed kleptocracies in the three foreign governments and corruption and dishonesty among HP corporate fat cats."

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Corporations are not people (5, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about 4 months ago | (#46712581)

Corporations are not people. They don't make decisions. Executives make decisions.

Lock the bastards up.

Re:Corporations are not people (1)

alphatel (1450715) | about 4 months ago | (#46712603)

Corporations are not people. They don't make decisions. Executives make decisions.

Lock the bastards up.

Hate to put it this way but considering the way HP has been failing so badly the past 5 years... saw it coming

Re:Corporations are not people (5, Insightful)

BurfCurse (937117) | about 4 months ago | (#46712725)

Most of this happened longer than 5 years ago under different leadership. HP is still suffering from the mistakes of the past. HP was financially successful then but at a cost. This is the way people like Mark Hurd do business. Its all about short term gains. Being told your pay was being cut because of difficult times and it was necessary in order to survive, only to find out that 6 months later HP had record profits. That's why all the top performer's no longer work there.

Re:Corporations are not people (1)

alphatel (1450715) | about 4 months ago | (#46713251)

Most of this happened longer than 5 years ago under different leadership. HP is still suffering from the mistakes of the past. HP was financially successful then but at a cost. This is the way people like Mark Hurd do business. Its all about short term gains. Being told your pay was being cut because of difficult times and it was necessary in order to survive, only to find out that 6 months later HP had record profits. That's why all the top performer's no longer work there.

So again, saw it coming

Re:Corporations are not people (4, Insightful)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 4 months ago | (#46713621)

Then find the people responsible for the laundering and bribery five years ago and put them in jail.

Never happens, though. Two-tiered justice system. If you're rich, you get fined instead of going to jail. Just gotta make sure the government gets its beak wet. If you're poor, lock 'em up and throw away the key.

Re:Corporations are not people (1)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 4 months ago | (#46714317)

You got that right. The amounts hardly matter. A case where the bribes ran well into the hundreds of millions was simply dismissed altogether in the UK (because it would inconvenience the Saudis, who threatened to take their business elsewhere when pressed on this issue) and ended with a slap on the wrist (relative to the sheer scale of the crimes) in the US.

source [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Corporations are not people (2)

cusco (717999) | about 4 months ago | (#46714415)

$108 million in fines for HP, but when Halliburton was caught handing out over $100 million to Nigerian officials while Cheney was CEO there wasn't even an investigation in the US (and I think the suit in France eventually evaporated while he was VP).

Really, this is not likely to change the way HP or anyone else of that size do business. First, it is very unlikely that the fines amount to more than the profit generated by those sales. More importantly, the fines come long after the people involved have left the company in the game of Corporate Musical Chairs, so their grotesque income will be unaffected.

Re:Corporations are not people (1, Redundant)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 4 months ago | (#46712617)

In federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison

Re:Corporations are not people (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46712643)

Agree,

It wasn't the shareholders that did the bribing. Yet they're the ones that are going to be penalized. Everyone with a401(k) is essentially bribing the US government with the settlement to keep these executives from going to jail.

Re:Corporations are not people (3, Insightful)

MathFox (686808) | about 4 months ago | (#46712661)

Executives make decisions.
Lock the bastards up.

Most likely one of the conditions of the settlement is that the executives are not prosecuted for their transgressions.

And the executives will have the fine paid from the corporate funds... business as usual.

Re:Corporations are not people (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#46713173)

If they didn't bribe in Russia, they'd get punished for failing to act in the best interest of the company's shareholders (which includes making business in Russia) instead. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Re:Corporations are not people (4, Informative)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 4 months ago | (#46713325)

Really.

Has there ever been a single documented case in the whole of history where the shareholders have ever successfully (or even unsuccessfully, for that matter) sued a company because the company wasn't doing enougl illegal stuff to bolster profits?

Re:Corporations are not people (0)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 4 months ago | (#46713445)

What makes you think bribing people in Russia is illegal?

Far as I can tell, it's pretty much part of doing business over there....

Re:Corporations are not people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46713603)

Bribes are pretty much illegal everywhere; government's hate them. The people that WORK in government, not so much however. But the institution is against the practice. Bribery, after all, is unreported - and untaxed - revenue. That's anathema to governments.

Then there's that whole "ethical" thing about how bribery undermines justice and stuff, but that's never been as much a concern.

Re:Corporations are not people (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#46713483)

Why do you assume they are being told? I'd think that if a CEO wanted to look good and to avoid having to answer questions like "why didn't we get that big deal in (say) Russia even though we were better and cheaper?", or to avoid being replaced by someone who'd promise greater profits - and subsequently got them, simply by being more willing to grease those foreign governments where it's a traditional custom - he wouldn't necessarily feel the need to discuss it to them.

Re:Corporations are not people (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 4 months ago | (#46712997)

This is HP we're talking about, I'm pretty sure none of their executives have been human since Carly Fiorina...

Re:Corporations are not people (2)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 4 months ago | (#46713299)

Corporations are not people. They don't make decisions. Executives make decisions.

Lock the bastards up.

Of course, one of the purposes of a corporation is to limit liability. That way, if you start a business and fail, the creditors can't come after you personally. This is often seen as a good thing, encouraging risk taking without the fear of personal ruin. I might generally agree with that. But we are now seeing this limit on liability being used to shield decision-makers from the consequences of their decisions. This is especially true if the company is politically connected. What large company isn't these days? I'm starting to think the best way to commit crime is to start a corporation and have the "company" do it.

Re:Corporations are not people (2)

afidel (530433) | about 4 months ago | (#46713591)

No, corporations exist to protect the OWNERS, not the executives or the board. In criminal cases the government is perfectly capable of prosecuting the individuals who committed or ordered others to commit crimes.

Re:Corporations are not people (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about 4 months ago | (#46713615)

They quite often are the owners at least in part.

Re:Corporations are not people (3, Insightful)

doggo (34827) | about 4 months ago | (#46713635)

And this is the problem, isn't it? Corporations shield corporate officers from criminal prosecution. The is the reform that needs to happen in the U.S., and the world.

Criminal acts perpetrated by corporate agents need to be prosecuted. The agents, and their managers, up to the top level held responsible and subject to the criminal penalties.

Or, at the very least, if we're going to continue to wrong-headed assertion that "corporations are people", then corporations need to be held accountable. If the "corporation" commits a crime that a human would be sentenced to a prison term for, that corporation should be stopped from doing business for the time of the sentence. No production. No trade. No accounts receivable/payable activity allowed. Dead stop.

Corporate acts that result in human deaths, means the corporation gets the equivalent sentencing, whatever the normal human sentence is.

Re:Corporations are not people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46713623)

Corporations are not people. They don't make decisions. Executives make decisions.

Lock the bastards up.

Under what law? That someone working for the same corporation but overseas committed what would be a criminal act had they done it in the US, but might be legal where it was performed?

So if your brother moves to Saudi Arabia and gets three wives, we can lock YOU up for polygamy? That's what you're espousing.

Re:Corporations are not people (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 4 months ago | (#46714389)

Lock them up for what?

In Russia big business does NOT happen without involvement of government officials, who all EXPECT bribes and will NOT allow you to build your business if you do not pay them what they want.

So HP or whoever it is, if they want to deal in Russia they will be paying bribes to the politicians, there is no way around it at all. You can either do big business in Russia and as an ABSOLUTE requirement you will pay bribes, or you can forget about that market completely.

But hey, if you are talking about locking up the POLITICIANS that expect bribes, then I am 100% with you.

$108 million penalty (3, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 4 months ago | (#46712585)

That equates out to like a $5 fine for those outside of the corporate bubble...

Re:$108 million penalty (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 4 months ago | (#46712641)

Even inside the corporate bubble it's actually less than what a teenager could get for sharing a few music files with his friends.

Re:$108 million penalty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46712763)

Even inside the corporate bubble it's actually less than what a teenager could get for sharing a few music files with his friends.

And as a result, everyone ignores the corporate lobbyist corruption engine, realizing they can't do fuck-all about it.

There is another option, but I would hope society wasn't that ignorant or stupid to welcome this behavior and abuse by unwittingly voting for it..over and over and over again.

Re:$108 million penalty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46713043)

How about killing the lobbyists? Would that solve the problem? If that drives the lobbyists underground, kill the senators... :\

Re:$108 million penalty (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 4 months ago | (#46713339)

How about killing the lobbyists? Would that solve the problem? If that drives the lobbyists underground, kill the senators... :\

No, it would not. Others would take their place. And if enough were killed it would bring the power of the state down on you.

Re:$108 million penalty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46713855)

> No, it would not. Others would take their place.

Then kill 'others'. Rinse and repeat. Eventually being a 'lobbyist' becomes too dangerous and gets replaced with something else. Start taking out 'something else'. Eventually it will become obvious which oficials are corrupt. Kill those oficials. Don't you know that the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants? Have you not noticed how this society everyday gets a bit less fair to the common man?

> bring the power of the state down on you

You assume you is one person. What if 'you' becomes one crowd? One mob? One city? One state? One nation? You seem not to realize that *they* have no power whatsoever, other than the power you give them everyday thru your inaction. I find it funny that almost every month there are news of people doing spree-killings followed by suicide. Tipical... had the balls to shoot but not the brains to aim properly. What if every month someone that allegedly has 'power' were to get shot dead? By someone who lost their job? Their home? What if a senator who whores for the medical insurance industry were to get shot by a person that was insured but was denied coverage? How soon change would come about? 'But they have security!' Make the security your target then. They are protecting someone who should be dead. What if the judge that says "they are too rich to know right from wrong" were to get killed? What message would that send?
I know what you are going to say: a barbaric one. True. But how many years of court 'justice' would be saved? Study history and you will learn that Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Demand it with bullets and the demand becomes that much more pressing.

Re:$108 million penalty (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 4 months ago | (#46714177)

And don't forget the CAN-SPAM violator that got like a 15 trillion dollar fine or whatever. $1000 per offense is $1000 per offense, lol.

Re:$108 million penalty (5, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 months ago | (#46712743)

HP's annual revenue is on the order of $100Bn, so $108m is about 0.1% of their income. The median US household income is about $40,000, so this would be equivalent to you receiving a $40 fine.

For international bribery and money laundering.

Re:$108 million penalty (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#46713273)

HP's annual revenue is on the order of $100Bn, so $108m is about 0.1% of their income.

Revenue and income are two different things. Last year their revenue was $112B. Their income was $5B.

HP 2013 Financial Report [marketwatch.com]

OK, $800 then (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46713461)

Not that it looks better now. $800 for bribery and money laundering

Re:$108 million penalty (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46713527)

However, in this case "household income" is pretty equivalent to a corporation's revenue. When someone asks how much I make a year, I don't subtract all the money I spend and tell them how much I have left over.

Re:$108 million penalty (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#46713597)

However, in this case "household income" is pretty equivalent to a corporation's revenue. When someone asks how much I make a year, I don't subtract all the money I spend and tell them how much I have left over.

So if a realtor sells a client's house for $500K, and earns a commission of 2%, then his income is $500K?

Re:$108 million penalty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46713721)

A realtor does not make a sale. A realtor brokers a sale.

Re:$108 million penalty (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 months ago | (#46713791)

Only if he originally owned the home in the first place.

Re:$108 million penalty (1)

Mdk754 (3014249) | about 4 months ago | (#46713843)

Invalid claim. A realtor doesn't buy a house for $500K then mark it up 2%, they net 2% on the transaction. That 2% is their revenue, before expenses not after.

Re:$108 million penalty (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 months ago | (#46713739)

I'm comparing gross to gross. If you want net-to-net, the quantity you probably want is the household discretionary income* which is about $20,000. HP were fined 2% of their net income which for our imaginary household is $400.

*After-tax income minus bills.

Re:$108 million penalty (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 4 months ago | (#46714167)

I seriously doubt that. The two largest companies in the world are valued at 80 and 81 billion approximately. Even after expenses, HP would be worth a hell of a lot of money after a few years if that 100 billion figure was correct.

Re:$108 million penalty (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 4 months ago | (#46713521)

Question: how often are the profits from said illegal activity also forfeited on top of the fine? Is it "never" or is it "almost never"? Or am I being too cynical here? I'm not, am I? I'm being naive for even asking?

Play by the rules (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46712587)

Of course, when the rules are designed to sabotage you, it's no wonder that Huweii is growing. It's not all HP's ineptness.Yes, it's all greased in most of the world. Deal with it.

Re:Play by the rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46712829)

>corporate fat cats
Blaming the players and not the governments that are rigging the game. Is the DOJ also going to prosecute the officials that were bribed?

Enjoy watching your american companies lose contracts when some european, most asian, & all central/south american countries are pretty much run on bribes. And you wonder why the jobs are going overseas?

Re:Play by the rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46713131)

Of course, when the rules are designed to sabotage you, it's no wonder that Huweii is growing. It's not all HP's ineptness.Yes, it's all greased in most of the world. Deal with it.

It works that way in the US as well. US officials were not getting paid, so now that has been rectified with a court enforced bribe to the US Department of Gun Smuggling.

NO It did not do that (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46712589)

Sensationalism at its normal.

Re:NO It did not do that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46713363)

Good job, great post.

Thats a good business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46712621)

Let US firms indulge in scams abroad... charge a part of their profit as 'penality'. Everyone is happy.

And no charges will be filed (2)

fredrated (639554) | about 4 months ago | (#46712623)

That's how justice works now in this third-world like corruption that governs business in the good 'ol USA.

Re:And no charges will be filed (2)

qbast (1265706) | about 4 months ago | (#46712679)

From TFA: "The Polish government has elected to charge several individuals — both from HP and the government — in criminal cases in an investigation related to the guilty plea from HP" . So charges in fact have been filed, just not in USA.

Re:And no charges will be filed (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 4 months ago | (#46712717)

So what? If the people charged with a crime ever go to Poland, this might actually mean something.

Ban HP products from sale in within the EU for a year. That's a proper and reasonable response.

Re:And no charges will be filed (2)

Frobnicator (565869) | about 4 months ago | (#46712777)

So what? If the people charged with a crime ever go to Poland, this might actually mean something.

In the article (yeah, who bothers with that) you will note that it was several of the regional executives who were fired for bribes. They are not meaning the CEO level.

So yes, it is quite likely that some of those regional executives do live in the affected countries, and it will definitely mean something as they no longer have corporate ties to fund their defense.

Re:And no charges will be filed (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 4 months ago | (#46713707)

You're quite right; I should stop relying on the stub to be in any way informative, or in fact accurate.

Re:And no charges will be filed (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 4 months ago | (#46713385)

From TFA: "The Polish government has elected to charge several individuals — both from HP and the government — in criminal cases in an investigation related to the guilty plea from HP" . So charges in fact have been filed, just not in USA.

Kind of makes Fredrated's point, eh?

Re:And no charges will be filed (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 4 months ago | (#46714151)

You try and do business in crappy countries run by crooked assholes, this is what you have to do. Why do corporations not simply decide a country it too fucked up to do business in. If I was head of HP, first of all I'd fire everyone and shut down the company because they're basically a disease on the tech world. But besides that, I'd simply pull out of every messed up country until they get their shit together. It'd work like a non-UN trade embargo or sanctions that just occurs naturally. If Apple, Pepsi, HP, Microsoft, etc all started not selling their products in places until they cleaned up their acts, that's an awful lot of pressure on those countries!

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46712631)

Oh, Snap!

They done messed with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Corrupt_Practices_Act].

No subject. (5, Informative)

Himmy32 (650060) | about 4 months ago | (#46712637)

"Hewlett-Packard has admitted to in order to profiteer off of lucrative government contracts in Russia, Poland, and Mexico, according to court documents.

It's cool if you want to take part of the story for the summary, but you dropped out an important part.

The Original:
Hewlett-Packard has admitted to creating and using slush funds for bribes, money laundering, and clandestine “bag of cash” handoffs in order to profiteer off of lucrative government contracts in Russia, Poland, and Mexico, according to court documents.

In most of the world... (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 4 months ago | (#46712657)

That's called business. In many places such bribes, and expenditures are just simply part of business. Those in government get paid low wages. The take is considered acceptable as long as its within reason.

And many places like Eastern Europe, Asia, S. America. You're not building an office building without bribes.

Re:In most of the world... (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 4 months ago | (#46712675)

oh.. ok. It's all right then. Never mind.

Re:In most of the world... (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 4 months ago | (#46712883)

My guess is since it's still being reported on, and negatively at that, all is not lost. There will be negative PR consequences for HP above and beyond the fine.

There is a danger the prevalence of corruption in big business and government will inure us all to expect no better from them, but those folks still paying attention should maintain their right to be outraged.

Even if most of the World were truly accepting of this bribery for business model, we are not beholden to lower our own fleeting morality. It is not a okay to rape a man's wife even after he has raped yours.

Re:In most of the world... (1)

JeffAtl (1737988) | about 4 months ago | (#46712921)

You missed the point and are being naive. Cultures and attitudes vary across the world - not every culture mirrors yours.

Re:In most of the world... (3)

benjfowler (239527) | about 4 months ago | (#46713017)

Doesn't mean that all cultures are equivalent. I certainly wouldn't want my culture being considered equivalent to (say) the Dayak head-hunters, Nazi Germany or the Af-Pak tribal belt.

Re:In most of the world... (2)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 4 months ago | (#46713607)

You missed the point and are being naive. Cultures and attitudes vary across the world - not every culture mirrors yours.

What does that have to do with US law? HP broke US law. They should be held to account for that. If your point is that HP couldn't do business in these countries without breaking US law, then perhaps HP shouldn't do business in these countries. However, from what I read, they broke the laws of these other countries as well. So it seems that this is not simply how business is conducted. I understand that you can't get a building built on Staten Island without the okay from the local boss. But that doesn't make it right, and it doesn't mean we should just accept it as business as usual.

Re:In most of the world... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46714439)

>perhaps HP shouldn't do business in these countries
and you will soon find that US companies are unable to compete internationally and foreign megacorps (Nestle, Vinci, etc) will move in and swallow them up.

This has to be the dumbest law yet. All it does is make american companies look bad while foreign companies do whatever the fuck they want.

Re:In most of the world... (1)

Frobnicator (565869) | about 4 months ago | (#46712879)

You're not building an office building without bribes.

Actually, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act takes that into account.

They can pay people when it is made to an official to expedite his performance of the duties he is already bound to perform.

Walmart almost got in trouble for that a few years back for building permits, but since they claimed the buildings would eventually be built anyway rather than swaying from a yes/no position, everything went away.

This wasn't a normal "grease payment". A grease payment for a building permit is more like how you might tip your waiter after a meal; it isn't mandatory but is customary for continued good service in some parts of the world. The article describes things like flying government reps to the US for vacations and tourism, money laundering, and frequent deliveries of big bags of cash.

Re:In most of the world... (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about 4 months ago | (#46713031)

Tipping is an odious, disgusting habit peculiar to America, which is the thin edge of the wedge to bribery and other forms of corruption.

Re:In most of the world... (2)

stoploss (2842505) | about 4 months ago | (#46714465)

That's called business. In many places such bribes, and expenditures are just simply part of business. Those in government get paid low wages. The take is considered acceptable as long as its within reason.

And many places like Eastern Europe, Asia, S. America. You're not building an office building without bribes.

Right, as far as I understand it, you will not get business without bribes. However, thanks to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act this is illegal for US companies. Wat do?

From what I hear, it's ideal to partner with a local firm to place the bid. Said local partner firm will charge you various "consulting fees" and you don't ask questions when you pay these invoices to your partner firm. I mean, who knows what they are doing? You are relying on them for local expertise, after all.

Surprise, you win contracts without having bribed anyone. Must have been the technical merits of your bid package.

and this is (1)

ebonum (830686) | about 4 months ago | (#46712659)

news?

A win for America (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46712683)

I'd imagine any penalties will get refunded back to HP minus anything the SEC/DoJ wants to keep for themselves. It's a win for the US, and a loss for the offended countries.

This is great for America...........just not for humanity.

this shit is infuriating (5, Insightful)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 4 months ago | (#46712685)

to someone who lives, on a a daily basis, with the discrimination and stigma of being a convicted felon for minor drug offenses, these kind of articles piss me off to no end.

these corporate douchebags can blatantly break federal, state, and international laws and not even lose their jobs, where people like me who got caught with some recreational substance see their entire careers and life go into the toilet.

fuck those HP crooks, AND the DOJ they rode in on.

Re:this shit is infuriating (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 4 months ago | (#46712691)

Sometimes those criminals are even made governor of a state.

Rick Scott...

Re:this shit is infuriating (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46712757)

Agreed. Our punishment for repeat felons is to fine them less than the profit made through said felony? WTF!

Re:this shit is infuriating (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 4 months ago | (#46712793)

It reminds me of celebrities who can royally fuck up their lives with drugs and alcohol and still have an industry of enablers desperate to throw millions of dollars at them.

Re:this shit is infuriating (1)

PJ6 (1151747) | about 4 months ago | (#46713395)

Happens all the time [nytimes.com] .

Re:this shit is infuriating (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 4 months ago | (#46713677)

I would say you should read The Divide [amazon.com] , but you're already living it.

I sincerely hope you're able to escape your past and find peace and happiness.

Re:this shit is infuriating (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46713743)

to someone who lives, on a a daily basis, with the discrimination and stigma of being a convicted felon for minor drug offenses, these kind of articles piss me off to no end.

these corporate douchebags can blatantly break federal, state, and international laws and not even lose their jobs, where people like me who got caught with some recreational substance see their entire careers and life go into the toilet.

fuck those HP crooks, AND the DOJ they rode in on.

I agree, but what is being done about it? Look at "The 99% vs 1%" demonstration, nothing really came out of it. Just hot air. The common people will keep voting people into the Government that will turn the blind eye to the rich corporations. And us yelling and screaming about it (on forums) without any true action is not helping either. I really think it is time the people stand up. But 99% of people are too afraid of losing their job, house, etc, so nothing will happen and these corporations will keep doing what they do and laugh all the way to the bank (their co-corporation that needs a kick too.)

Re:this shit is infuriating (1)

geek (5680) | about 4 months ago | (#46713845)

a convicted felon for minor drug offenses

Which is it? Felon or minor drug offense, because it can't be both. Possession is a misdemeanor. Intent to sell is a felony. I seriously doubt your sob story.

Re:this shit is infuriating (0)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 4 months ago | (#46714117)

Oh, so you didn't know that it's a felony to carry those items when you were? Or are you just like every other drug user where you think the laws are unfair and you're too special for them to apply to you and now you blame everyone else now that you got caught? I'm betting on the 2nd statement there.

Re:this shit is infuriating (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46714505)

Why are you so terrified of personal responsibility? And if you claim you're not, then you're a lying piece of shit, because that is the ONLY possible reason you would have made that post.

Re:this shit is infuriating (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46714223)

to someone who lives, on a a daily basis, with the discrimination and stigma of being a convicted felon for minor drug offenses, these kind of articles piss me off to no end.

If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

Re:this shit is infuriating (1)

flanders123 (871781) | about 4 months ago | (#46714807)

Don't hate the players, hate the game, my friend. The LAWS are the reason HP gets a slap on the wrist and you received an (alleged) unjust penalty.

People don't like flopping in sports. Sure guys that flop look like douchebags, but they are just taking advantage of the rule. So change the rules!

The corporate douchebags work VERY hard to influence lawmakers to pass laws that go easy on them....We unwashed masses do not do our due diligence....ie vote these crooked lawmakers out and elect officials who will overhaul of the political lobby system. Because, you know, that would require effort on our part.

Just Sayin.

The cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46712711)

They have the fines allocated as the cost of doing business.

Re:The cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46714483)

They might make a deal to pay the fine with their ink-jet ink, also called "liquid gold".
With some fancy book-keeping, price value of one printer's worth of ink may be around 80 USD cost to make about 50 cents then they take a tax write-off on paying the fine.
The biggest crooks are not all in jail, many of them hide behind laws made for corporations that shield them from getting arrested.

well, it takes two to tango... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46712719)

I am Greek so i know few things about the general problem of companies from countries with better ethics (e.g., USA, Germany) trying to do bussines in countries with "flexible" ethics (Russia, Poland, Mexico, and -in a lesser degree- Greece): even with the better offer they will be excluded if they don't provide some "oil" (that's how we call it in Greece) - those companies are extorted in reality, and usually left to get the whole blaim if revealed.
I understand that it takes two to tango, and the companies must not corrupt with offers the goverment officials, but... it takes two to tango!

Re:well, it takes two to tango... (1)

jabuzz (182671) | about 4 months ago | (#46712895)

Really, Greece less corrupt than Poland!!! You are on the crack pipe mate. The Corruption perceptions index 2012 has Poland scoring 58 and ranked 41 in the world, where as Greece manages just 36 and is ranked 94. Greece has the worst corruption problem in the whole of the E.U. including all the ex communist states. Greece can only dream of having as little corruption as Poland.

Re:well, it takes two to tango... (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about 4 months ago | (#46713049)

We have the Ottomans and their dysfunctional culture to thank for that. They are the ones who brought in different rules for different groups, and they are the ones who indirectly legitimized corruption in southern Europe. It's a wonder that we are as nice to the Turks as we are, considering the damage they've done.

Re:well, it takes two to tango... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46713787)

I am the "parent" who made the comment with the claim that Greece is less corrupt than Poland.
The "Corruption Perceptions Index" (from Transparency International) you reference is "...based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be." (from their explanation). Anyone that knows anything about the issue knows that Greece is much less corrupt than Poland regardless of what that index claims. In case you are from Poland, and because i don't want this to become personal, i will give you some other examples about that -flawed- index (using their newest -2013- publication - keep in mind that Greece is in a better place now, simply because 2012 was a year that internationally the media reports about our crisis was constant effecting how the world perceived Greece).
In that index Turkey and Bulgaria (both neibour countries with Greece, and i know both countries very well) are in better place from Greece, and Turkey is in better place from Italy - well, anyone that knows anything about the issue knows how rediculus that is. A fellow Greek gave you a good explanation about the Ottoman/Turkish occupation of Greece and how badly effected the ethics of us Greeks, but please believe me we are certantly not more corrupt from them, and surely Italians are not (we Greeks, because deep down are ashamed for that behaviur, use the Turkish word "baksis" for those kind of "deals").
Anyway, i don't try to pretend that we are Germans or Scandinavians - just not as corrupt as people think.

Re:well, it takes two to tango... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46714373)

Well, i am from Poland and my perception is that Greece is more currupt than Poland - not as much as index shows but definitely. You may be mistaking Poland for Romania or Bulgaria.

Take for example tax evasion - I read about things happening in Greece that are hard to imagine in Poland
- property tax is pretty well executed in Poland, income tax as well - I went through procedures of suspected tax evasion procedures several times - usually without merrit - and I am just a small, slightly above average income guy.

Another example are cases of cheating about EU agricultural funds - control in Poland is pretty well executed and nothing live cirtual olive groves is possible.

Re:well, it takes two to tango... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#46713207)

even with the better offer they will be excluded if they don't provide some "oil" (that's how we call it in Greece)

The rest of the world calls it "Greece". Or was it "grease"? I wonder if there's a connection...

US equivalent of Bribery Act (4, Interesting)

benjfowler (239527) | about 4 months ago | (#46712985)

In the UK, we have a particularly strict law called the Bribery Act 2010, which is good, because it not only prohibits giving and receiving bribes to win business, but it also prohibits failing to prevent it.

Does America have anything even close? I suppose I shouldn't be surprised if they don't, because the US rent-seeker corporate Right would fight it tooth and nail.

Re:US equivalent of Bribery Act (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46713275)

No, we deliberately gut our ability to compete in eastern uerope, africa, south america and china by having a very similar legislation.

Re:US equivalent of Bribery Act (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46713507)

Did you even read the summary? Why do you think HP was given a $108 million fine? Jesus fucking Christ..

Re:US equivalent of Bribery Act (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46713839)

Does America have anything even close?

In the US it is the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA) [wikipedia.org] .

Re:US equivalent of Bribery Act (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46713853)

Yes. It's wildly illegal to give or accept bribes in the US though the bit about failing to prevent it is left to the vagueries of the justice system. The main point of our anti-bribery laws is that jurisdiction more or less doesn't matter. I.e. if you go to Egypt on business and bribe a customs official to let you in on a tourist visa and get caught and charged, when you get home you'll be charged with bribing a foreign official even though the crime was not committed in the US.

Unequivocally, it is illegal for Americans to pay bribes anywhere it's not legal to do so, which is everywhere. In the US we get around this by using charities and campaign contributions. Among other things.

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46713171)

They bribed foreign governments for business, and now they have to bribe the US government... for what? What does this have to do with US at all?

Oh Boy (2)

rohis (248695) | about 4 months ago | (#46713343)

Here comes to layoff to make up estimated $200m shortfall in revenue. (Management will stay the same so we can increase revenue further)

Different justice systems... (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 4 months ago | (#46713581)

Matt Taibbi from Rolling Stone was on the Daily Show a few nights back, pimping his book The Divide [amazon.com] . This is what happens in our two-tiered justice system. Steal big, and maybe you have to give some of the money you stole to the government, but no jail time. Steal small, jail.

Really, it comes down to whether or not you can bribe the government. So long as the government's gettin' its beak wet, they don't really care about international bribery and money laundering.

Frank Drebbin Sez: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46713863)

Nothing to see here. Move along.

I have an idea (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 4 months ago | (#46714097)

The US military should just drop bombs on their headquarters. That would get rid of HP's perpetually unfair bullshit forever and single handedly double the quality of laptops and printers as a whole worldwide. And secondary targets should be Open Candy and Conduit's headquarters.

Vote Slashmydots for president, 2016 - "We'll bomb our way to a better tech world."

No, not that Homer (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 4 months ago | (#46714511)

This is why people in those countries go into government in the first place -- so you can ge in the way of things so you can get paid to get back out of the way.

This happens in the US, too, but not as much (or, a lot more, based on dollars, but with a much more polished meme cover story).

"Well, look at that. Those oil or pharmas are having unconscionable profits agin', Homer!"

Let the locals deal with them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46714789)

Let the locals deal with them how they want to. Not the US, not the US's problem.

Re:Let the locals deal with them (1)

PPH (736903) | about 4 months ago | (#46714885)

This.

If its not illegal in the country the act was committed in, why should we bother with it? Or maybe Russia and Mexico should start inditing companies for participating in our corrupt patent system.

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