The Wall Street Journal has reported that lawyers from the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities Exchange Commission are investigating kickback allegations made by a former Microsoft rep in China and also kickback allegations concerning Microsoft resellers in Romania, Italy, Russia and Pakistan.
It is unknown as to how widespread the alleged kickbacks are or how much was paid. However, Microsoft has opened an internal investigation and apparently a tipster sent the company information about its Russian branch saying that a reseller paid kickbacks to executives in a state controlled telecommunications company.
Another source said that executives at Microsoft’s Pakistan operations paid for a trip for a Punjab Provincial government official and his wife to win a three year contract to supply the government with its software.
Under a new whistleblower program at the SEC, a whistleblower reporting securities violations including foreign bribes to officials can gain as much as 35 of the monetary sanction the government agency recovers. The amount of bribes in Russia and China is known to be extremely high. However, any company publicly traded in the U.S. in subjected to significant scrutiny now concerning possible bribes