A U.S. subsidiary of the German industrial giant Siemens was ordered Tuesday to pay a fine and restitution totaling more than $2.5 million for misleading officials to land a Cook County, Ill., contract.
Chicago U.S. District Judge John Darrah said he was only reluctantly accepting a plea agreement between Siemens Medical Solutions USA and the federal government, saying a $2.5 million penalty wasnt overly stiff.
Siemens had been charged with mail and wire fraud, but under the agreement with prosecutors it pleaded guilty to a single obstruction of justice count in connection with misleading statements made during a trial concerning the contract.
The other charges were dropped.
"It's almost incomprehensible that conduct of this kind could go on in a federal court," Darrah told lawyers from the company, whose executives were absent from the sentencing hearing.
Siemens lawyer Vincent Connelly declined to comment as he left court. -- by the Associated Press