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Investigations Into HP Russian Deals Grow Wider

SAN FRANCISCO ― A bribery investigation into a Hewlett-Packard government contract in Russia has broadened to include more deals dating back to 2000.

In a statement Friday, HP said it was cooperating with authorities, "who have now expanded their investigations beyond" a transaction with the Russian prosecutor's office.

It emerged in April that U.S. and German authorities were investigating whether HP employees in a German subsidiary had engaged in a bribery scheme involving a 35 million euro ($45 million) contract to provide information-technology equipment to the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation. The contract ran from 2001 to 2006.

Russian authorities in April raided HP's Moscow office at the behest of German prosecutors.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission have been investigating the Russian deal and possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bans U.S. businesses from bribing foreign government officials during deal making.

In a regulatory filing on Thursday, HP disclosed that U.S. authorities also had recently asked for information from HP relating to "governmental and quasi-governmental transactions" in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States region going back to 2000.

Also, HP said in its regulatory filing that German prosecutors had recently requested information on "several non-public sector transactions entered into by HP and its subsidiaries" during or around 2006, involving at least one person who also was involved in the Russian prosecutor's office deal.

The computer, printer and IT company is based in Palo Alto, California.

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