Daimler to pay $185 million to settle U.S. bribery charges image

Daimler AG, parent company of Mercedes-Benz, has been charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with repeatedly violating bribery laws over the past decade, earning the company over $50 million in profit from government fleet sales worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

U.S. prosecutors accused the maker of Mercedes cars of engaging “in a long-standing practice of paying bribes” to secure deals in Russia, China, Turkey, Egypt, Nigeria, Iraq and at least 16 other countries between 1998 and early 2008, according to a criminal information filed in U.S. court.

The charges, which were filed in documents typically used in DOJ plea deals, include conspiracy and falsifying books and records, which are punishable under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. DOJ officials refused to comment, as did representatives of Daimler, who told Automotive News they would not comment until a U.S. District Court hearing in Washington D.C. on April 1.