Remember the Schadenfreude when the Department of Justice shook down Daimler for $185 million for corruption allegedly perpetrated in U.S. jurisdictions such as Russia, China, Turkey, Egypt, Nigeria, Iraq, Turkmenistan, and a host of others? To add insult to imbursements, Daimler even had to endure former FBI director and Lewinsky-sperm-on-blue-dress investigator Louis Freeh as anti-corruption compliance officer. In the bargain, the NYSE lost Daimler as a listing, because no NYSE listing, no more SEC probes. Everybody knows that these inducements are quite common in the industry. As evidenced by a massive raid involving around 100 police officers. They descended today on Ford’s German plants, on an unidentified company in Leverkusen and on the private homes of Ford employees.
This time, it was different: Not Ford did the greasing of palms. It was Ford employees who were greased. According to Die Welt, the corrupt colleagues all work in a department at Ford that organizes the changeover of production lines when new models go into production. Says Die Welt: “Their system was rather simple: The employees contracted companies, which reciprocated. For the system to compute, the jobs were invoiced at inflated prices, and approved by the managers. The money from the inflated invoices was divided between the involved companies and the employees.”
One Ford manager was immediately arrested. The public prosecutor alleges corruptibility, breach of trust, and fraud. This is not the first time. In summer, a similar ring was busted. The matter appears to be endemic at Ford.