Whistleblower claims Siemens’ China division fired him for exposing bribery scheme

whistleblower

European technology giant Siemens (NYSE:SI) was sued by a former employee who claimed that he was fired for blowing the whistle on an illegal bribery scheme.

Meng-Lin Liu, who worked in Siemens’ China unit, said he was fired after he brought evidence of what called a "classic bribery or ‘kickback’ scheme" to Siemens China’s healthcare CFO. He claims he was forced to take a leave of absence within 1 week of speaking with the CFO, and that his employment contract was not renewed when it expired a few months later.

Liu claims that Siemens offered hospitals products at inflated prices, later selling them at discounts to 3rd parties who then sold the equipment to the same hospitals at full bid prices, Bloomberg reported. Liu added that hospitals were paying the 3rd parties between 20% to 130% more than the price Siemens charged for the equipment, and speculated that the extra funds went to bribes.

"There was no legitimate explanation for the huge price differentials that existed between the prices at which Siemens sold the equipment and the prices paid by the end- user hospitals," according to the complaint.

Liu began working at Siemens China in 2008 and soon uncovered that the company had developed complicated ways of working around certain anti-corruption controls imposed on Siemens followed a 2008 plea agreement with U.S. regulators in the wake of a bribery investigation that cost the company $1.6 billion.

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