The North Canton, Ohio, company was accused by the
The company was also accused of giving annual cash gifts ranging from $100 to more than $600 to foreign bank executives.
Diebold falsely recorded the bribes in its books as training expenses, the SEC alleged.
"A bribe is a bribe, whether it's a stack of cash or an all-expense-paid trip to Europe," said Scott W. Friestad, an associate director in the SEC's enforcement division. "Public companies must be held accountable when they break the law to influence government officials with improper payments or gifts."
According to the SEC complaint filed in federal court in Washington, Diebold's misconduct occurred from 2005 to 2010.
Among the destinations of the U.S. trips were the Grand Canyon, Napa Valley,
Officials also were treated to European vacations, the SEC charged. For example, it said, eight officials at a government-owned bank in China enjoyed a two-week trip at Diebold's expense that included stays in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, Klagenfurt, Venice, Florence and Rome.
The Russian bribes were funneled through a distributor using phony service contracts to hide and falsely record the payments as legitimate business expenses, according to the SEC.
In addition to the fine, Diebold agreed to appoint an independent compliance monitor to prevent future violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Diebold shares were up 25 cents, or 1%, to $29.97 in morning trading Tuesday.