Reuters FRANKFURT (Reuters) — German prosecutors have ordered Airbus to pay €81.25 million ($99 million) to settle one of two investigations into alleged corruption surrounding the sale of Eurofighter combat jets to Austria in 2003, the two sides said on Friday.
The settlement includes an administrative fine of €250,000 and “disgorgement” — which legal experts broadly define as the recovery of ill-gotten gains — of €81 million.
Munich prosecutors have been investigating whether Airbus issued bribes to win the $2 billion contract: charges it denies.
In a statement, prosecutors said they had not found evidence of bribery but that Airbus had been unable to account for over €100 million in payments to two shell companies.
EADS, as the main Airbus parent group was known at the time, sent funds totalling a triple-digit-million euro amount to Vector Aerospace LLP and City Chambers Limited, they added.
Most of these funds, by evading internal control mechanisms, had been used for what the prosecutors said were “unclear purposes,” adding it could not be finally determined what the funds had been spent on.
Airbus said in a statement the penalty, which it had agreed to pay, related to the “negligent breach of supervisory duties” by unidentified members of Airbus Defence and Space’s former management.Speech