Former Cognizant COO, Sridhar Pays Rs 35 Lakh Penalty In Chennai Bribery Case
In a twist of events, former Cognizant COO has agreed to pay a penalty of $50,000 or Rs 35 lakh in a bribery case, involving their Chennai office.
What is this bribery case all about, and why did Sridhar agree to pay the penalty?
Keep reading to find out more!
Former Cognizant COO Will Pay Penalty
As per an order by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, former Cognizant COO Sridhar Thiruvengadam has agreed to pay a heavy penalty of $50,000.
This penalty will be paid to settle a bribery case, which happened in India.
Sridhar’s name was dragged into the bribery case, after a group of investors from Cognizant filed a lawsuit against former president Gordon Coburn and former chief legal officer Steven E Schwartz regarding bribery incidents in India.
Sridhar was Cognizant’s COO from late 2013 till 2016, when he was placed under administrative leave. He resigned last year.
The Cognizant Bribery Case: Developments So Far
The case is related to construction of a massive 2.7-million-sqft KITS campus on Old Mahabalipuram Road in Chennai. It promised to house more than 17,000 Cognizant employees.
As per the file reports, a Tamil Nadu Govt employee demanded $2 million bribe from L&T, the company which was constructing the campus in Campus.
L&T approached Cognizant for the paying the bribe.
In order to continue the construction work, former president Gordon Coburn and former chief legal officer Steven E Schwartz routed the $2 million bribe to the Tamil Nadu official, which Sridhar Thiruvengadam helped by signing false sub-certifications
This enabled L&T to increase the overall cost of the project by $2 million, as they submitted several fraudulent charges.
This bribery scam proved to be quite expensive for Cognizant: They ended by paying $25 million in penalties, and $79 million additional expenses for conducting internal investigations related with the bribery scam.
Interestingly, Sridhar has neither accepted the charges, not denied them.
The order from SEC said, “Without admitting or denying the findings, Thiruvengadam agreed to pay a civil penalty of $50,000,”
There has been no official statement from Cognizant on this development. We will keep you updated, as more details come in.