German software maker SAP SE will pay $8 million in penalties as part of a settlement with the United States to resolve allegations that it violated federal law by exporting some of its software products to Iran, the Justice Department said on Thursday.
As part of the pact with the U.S. Justice, Treasury and Commerce departments, federal prosecutors also agreed not to pursue criminal charges against the company.
The case against SAP marks the first time a company has taken advantage of a Justice Department policy that gives companies a path to avoid prosecution for unlawfully exporting goods to sanctioned countries, businesses or individuals by self-reporting them to the U.S. government.
In order to win credit for cooperation, the company must report the alleged misconduct “prior to an imminent threat of disclosure or government investigation” and disclose “all relevant facts,” including the identities of any individuals responsible for the crimes.
The Justice Department said SAP cooperated and has already taken steps to remediate the problems.
According to prosecutors, the company engaged in thousands of illegal exports of software over at least seven years.
“SAP will suffer the penalties for its violations of the
Iran sanctions, but these would have been far worse had they not disclosed, cooperated, and remediated. We hope that other businesses, software or otherwise, we heed this lesson,” said John Demers, the Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division.