Indictment Charges NJ Tech Execs With Discussing Bribery Scheme During Video Conference Calls

By Phillip Bantz

The former chief legal officer and president of a New Jersey-based tech services company allegedly discussed a scheme to bribe government officials during video conference calls, according to an indictment filed in New Jersey federal court.

The former chief legal officer and president of a New Jersey-based tech services company allegedly discussed a scheme to bribe government officials during video conference calls, according to an indictment filed in New Jersey federal court.

Prosecutors allege that ex-CLO Steven Schwartz and former president Gordon Coburn of Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. in Teaneck authorized a construction company to pay more than $3.6 million in bribes to secure a planning permit for a large campus in Chennai, India.

The payments allegedly fast-tracked the building project, allowing Cognizant to avoid costly delays and related expenses, which would have included paying to support thousands of India-based employees in different facilities, according to prosecutors.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced Feb. 15 that New Jersey-based Cognizant had agreed to pay $25 million to settle allegations that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Now, Schwartz and Coburn are facing charges from the SEC and the Department of Justice, which alleges in the aforementioned 12-count indictment in U.S. District Court in New Jersey that the duo violated the FCPA, conspired to violate the FCPA, falsified books and records and circumvented or failed to implement internal accounting controls. More.

This story first appeared in The New Jersey Law Journal on Feb. 21. The complete story can be found here.

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