On February 3, 2014, Judge Shira A. Scheindlin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a default judgment in U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Sharef, et al. against two former Siemens AG executives, Ulrich Bock and Stephan Signer. Unlike other defendants in the matter, Bock and Signer never appeared before the court, and were subsequently ordered to pay a combined US$1.46 million—two of the largest Foreign Corrupt Practices Act penalties ever imposed upon individuals—for their respective roles in the well-known bribery scheme involving Siemens and government contracts in Argentina. The sheer size of the penalties begs the question—would it have been better for Bock and Signer to appear?
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