CHENNAI: Technology said on Friday it has agreed to pay $28 million (about Rs 200 crore) to the US stock market regulator Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and its justice department to settle a graft case. It relates to alleged bribing of Tamil Nadu government officials with $3.6 million in 2014 to build development centres.

Cognizant said in a statement that it had resolved all disputes with US regulators pertaining to violations of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act as its top management allegedly facilitating bribes to government officials.

The tech company, incubated in Chennai, and with nearly a third of its global workforce in India, told the regulator that it was seeking permanent injunctions against its former president Gordon Coburn and former chief legal officer Steven E Schwartz for directing a building contractor to conceal the bribe by doctoring orders.

While Cognizant settled all US government proceedings against it, the TN government on Friday announced actions against the two former executives.

“These cases are a matter between the government and these individuals and the charges against them will be addressed by the court system,” said Francisco D’Souza, vice-chairman and CEO of Cognizant. Both the officials have since quit the company. Mukkur N Subrmanian, who was the information technology minister in 2014, refused to comment.

Cognizant CEO wrote to employees telling them the SEC order was favourable as it was a resultant effect of a voluntary action.


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