back to article US software biz fined $28 million for bribing Chinese buyers with free vacations, gifts

Massachusetts-based software maker PTC and two of its Chinese subsidiaries have been fined $28m for bribing buyers in the Middle Kingdom. US regulator the SEC found that PTC, which builds design and process management software, broke the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) between 2006 and 2011. The American biz bunged …

Directors are liable

Fining a company is useless fine and debar the directors who allowed their company to break the law not the share holders as they did not knowingly enter into crooked deals. If directors were punished for the misdeeds of the organization they are supposedly overseeing then they may be worth the money they pay themselves.

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Re: Directors are liable

Unless, of course, they're deemed "too big to fail".

In which case, [slightly smaller, but only for one year] bonuses all around, and a stern "don't let that happen again", then business as usual continues.

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double standards?

Is this to make sure our businesses looks outside States (surely "lobbying" is permitted internally)? Or (conspiracy alert;) to gain support to military adventures - once a country is annexed the business may be conducted in more business friendly manners (though while done in Iraq, China would be much more difficult case).

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Anonymous Coward

Million? Is that all?

That's not a punishment, that's the fucking chump change they shake out of the cushions on the couch in the lobby.

You want to punish them, make that amount >Billions< instead and THEN they'll get their shit straight so it never happens again.

It's not punishment if they never notice, & a few million won't even be a rounding error to bastards like these.

Fuck em. Fuck em with their own petard.

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Re: Million? Is that all?

Steady now. If the SEC comes down too hard on US companies, the companies just might stop the cash, travel, gifts, and entertainment they now so generously bestow on members of the House and Senate as "campaign contributions", and "fact finding missions*".

So lets just write this off as "cost of doing business" and move on, shall we?

*I've always been amazed at the amount of facts that can apparently be unearthed in the Bahamas.

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Re: Million? Is that all?

The only way to really stop this is make the senior management and board PERSONALLY responsible for some ot the fines. Also, consider a 5 year vacation at Club Fed, all expense paid complete with orange jumper the senior management and board.

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Re: Million? Is that all?

"You want to punish them, make that amount >Billions< instead and THEN they'll get their shit straight"

True. A billion here, a billion there... pretty soon it'll add up to real money.

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Revenue from this: $11.85M, fines $28M and no whine from the company? It would seem that they lost money on this... not the normal fine rate. Did the FTC get some balls or is the company only admitting that they made $11.85M in revenue and reality is somewhat higher?

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Probably at least an order of magnitude higher but well hidden by the bean counters.

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Anonymous Coward

Can a fine be written down as a loss against tax?

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Anonymous Coward

Isn't that standard business practice

I worked for a UK county council and one of our proposed suppliers offered us a trip to their foreign factory along with a medieval night and tour thrown in.

I refused the offer for the team as it was against official guidelines, but I then went on my annual holiday. On my return, I found my manager had the rest of my team lined up for a "training" trip.

I objected but was overruled so I tried and failed to organise some training to actually occur while they were there. I must have sounded alarm bells as the main salesman suddenly couldn't make the trip either.

They all went, and despite my objection, the large contract was awarded. A few days later the company was sold to a rival, probably on the basis of our large order and the equipment we had painstakingly evaluated was subsequently replaced with the rivals product which had already been discounted by us as not suitable.

Audit investigated but insisted on taking everything at face value, ie genuine training trip with no other expenses charged to query, and found their friend had done no wrong.

A restructure later by the management and I was found superfluous to the needs. When I went they had to hire 2 people to replace me so it was not a cost issue.

I sometimes wonder that if I had given in and gone on the jolly, Would I still be there?

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Anonymous Coward

Nothing to see here, move along?

I must be the only person who sees nothing wrong with this. I'm a small business owner, and I find I regularly have to "court" the customer. This involves meals, corporate gifts & entertainment, and it's all factored into the prices the customer ends up paying. This is just sending out mouse mats, desk coasters and squeezy stress toys on a larger scale.

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Amateurs...

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Had the largesse

In 2001 I went to the PTC European Users Conference in Berlin, it was very enjoyable due to the largesse of our hosts. Admittedly there was no point in bribing me as I was a lowly Pro/TOOLKIT user.

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