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Ex-Lucent boss could face bribe charges

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Three ex-Lucent employees were warned yesterday that they could face civil charges over allegations that they paid bribes to secure contracts in Saudi Arabia.

Former chief executive Richard McGinn and John Heindel, who ran operations in Saudi Arabia, were sent Wells notices by the Securities and Exchange Commission. A third ex-employee, who was not named, also received a Wells notice. The notice warns that the SEC is still considering whether or not to press charges against them.

The three are accused of paying bribes in breach of the Foreign Corrupt Practises Act and of failing to keep accurate books or maintain proper accounting controls. The allegations concern Lucent's activities between 1997 and 2000.

The claims first came to light in a court case brought by a Saudi telecoms supplier. The case alleges that Lucent bribed a former Saudi telecoms minister with cash and gifts worth between $15m and $21m, according to AP. Earlier this year Lucent sacked four executives in China over allegations they breached the Foreign Corrupt Practises Act. ®

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