Former Cognizant Chief Operating Officer, Sridhar Thiruvengadam has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $50,000 following a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) order, which found that four company executives, including the former, authorized a bribe payment in a video-conference, which violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, according to an ET report.
The case is about Cognizant’s 2.7-million-sqft KITS campus in Chennai that planned to employ around 17,500 people. A senior government official of Tamil Nadu demanded a $2-million bribe from the construction firm responsible for the campus. The bribery exposed Cognizant to civil and criminal liability with the company paying $25 million in penalties as well as incurring $79 million more in costs related to its internal investigation.
The media report further highlighted that Thiruvengadam devised a scheme to cover it up in the company’s records. Thiruvengadam was Cognizant’s COO from late 2013 until he was placed on administrative leave in late 2016. Cognizant accepted Thiruvengadam’s resignation last year.
According to the SEC order, Thiruvengadam later helped to conceal the payment by signing false sub-certifications. It found that Thiruvengadam violated the FCPA’s internal accounting controls and record-keeping provisions. “Without admitting or denying the findings, Thiruvengadam agreed to pay a civil penalty of $50,000,” the order said.