By Joel Schectman
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Cable Corp <BGC.N>, a Kentucky-based wire manufacturer, agreed to pay more than $75 million to resolve allegations that it had bribed officials in Angola, Bangladesh and China, the U.S. Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission said on Thursday.
The company admitted its executives knew outside agents bribed officials in order to win business, according to the agreement signed with the U.S. Justice Department. The company agreed to pay a $20 million penalty to settle the Justice Department's bribery allegations.
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Separately, General Cable agreed to pay $6.5 million to settle a related U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, the agency said in a statement. The company also agreed to surrender $51 million in profits it made from the schemes.
The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act makes it a crime for companies to bribe overseas officials to win business.
General Cable said in a statement that it had cooperated with U.S. authorities and voluntarily disclosed the issues.
The Justice Department said it agreed to a more lenient penalty with General Cable because the company came forward and disclosed the misconduct to authorities.
Over the past year, the Justice Department has encouraged companies to disclose bribery allegations by offering lighter penalties if they fully cooperate.
General Cable “voluntarily self-disclosed this misconduct to the government, fully cooperated and remediated," said Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell. “This resolution demonstrates the very real upside to coming in and cooperating with federal prosecutors and investigators.”
(Reporting by Joel Schectman; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Meredith Mazzilli)