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$14 Million in Fines for Bribes to China

SAN DIEGO (CN) - Maxwell Industries will pay $14.3 million in criminal and civil penalties for bribing Chinese officials to get utilities contracts, federal prosecutors said. San Diego-based Maxwell, a publicly traded maker of energy storage and delivery products, agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement on Monday.

The 2-count criminal information charged Maxwell with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act's bribery and record-keeping provisions.

Maxwell paid more than $2.5 million to bribe Chinese officials for contracts to supply state-owned companies. Maxwell "mischaracterized" the bribes as sales commissions, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

The SEC, which filed its own complaint, said that Maxwell will pay $6.3 million to settle its charges.

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