Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Alert: Hitachi Agrees to Pay $19 Million to Settle SEC FCPA Charges Arising Out of Improper Payments to South African Political Party to Obtain Power Station Contracts

September 29, 2015

The U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) announced yesterday that Hitachi, Ltd. (Hitachi) has agreed to pay a $19 million civil penalty to settle charges that the company violated the books and records and internal control provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).  The SEC alleged that Hitachi entered into an improper arrangement with a local South African company that Hitachi knew was affiliated with South Africa’s ruling political party, the African National Congress (ANC).  According to the SEC, Hitachi made, and improperly recorded, payments to the local company in exchange for the local company’s exercise of political influence to steer power station construction contracts to Hitachi.