Siemens, SEC close to deal in bribe probe - paper

FRANKFURT, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Germany's Siemens SIEGn.DE and U.S. authorities may soon reach a deal in an investigation into suspect payments at the company, putting an end to what may be the world's biggest bribery scandal, a German daily reported.

“They are trying to bring an end to things,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung quoted an unidentified New York lawyer as saying in a report to be published on Wednesday.

A Siemens spokesman declined to comment.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice are investigating whether employees of Siemens, one of the world’s largest electrical and industrial engineering companies, paid hundreds of millions of euros in bribes for telecommunications and other contracts.

The report said without citing sources that the Department of Justice is likely to fine the company and the SEC will demand additional payments.

But it was unlikely that Siemens would be banned from bidding for public contracts because the company employed around 70,000 people in the United States, the paper said without citing sources.

Siemens’ compliance chief said in April the investigation by U.S. authorities would take some time.

Siemens has said it has identified 1.3 billion euros in suspicious transactions worldwide between 2000 and 2006. (Reporting by Nicola Leske; Editing by Paul Bolding)