Germany scrutinizes Siemens over alleged Russian payments

Siemens ($SI) is under investigation by the Munich public prosecutor regarding payments allegedly made to employees at "a Russian company," the German conglomerate disclosed in its 2012 second-quarter earnings report.

Siemens, whose healthcare division focuses on diagnostics, imaging, audiology devices and therapy systems, did not disclose the name of the company. However, it did acknowledge the investigation involves a Siemens subsidiary based in northwestern Europe. Also, the payments allegedly took place between 1999 and 2006. The Wall Street Journal's "Corruption Currents" broke the news, and MassDevice also covered the story.

Separately, the company disclosed its diagnostics arm also faces an investigation from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of New York. Siemens disclosed the office served a subpoena to the company in February regarding "a diagnostics process."

In both cases, Siemens says it "is cooperating with the authority" involved.

Siemens paid $1.6 billion in 2008 to settle "an international bribery scheme," so the legacy of that period may be lingering a bit, MassDevice notes. In an interview with NPR, Siemens managing board member and general counsel Peter Solmssen blamed the period on "a failure of leadership," adding the company is focusing on training and controls to prevent it in the future.

On a more positive note, Siemens Healthcare made Fierce's "Top 10 Medical Device R&D Budgets" list for 2011, coming in at $1.56 billion.

- read the WSJ story (subs. req.)
- check out MassDevice's take
- see the NPR interview
- access Siemens' Q2 report

Special Report: Siemens Healthcare - Top 10 Medical Device R&D Budgets