An investigation opened by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against DaimlerChrysler centers on accusations that the German-US car giant operated secret bank accounts in South America for use in bribing foreign officials, the
Wall Street Journal Europe reported Friday. DaimlerChrysler had revealed Thursday that it was being probed by the SEC with regard to its compliance with the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act following a complaint by a former employee. The newspaper said the SEC probe focused on a complaint filed by former Chrysler auditor, David Bazetta, who alleged he was fired earlier this year for raising questions about bank accounts controlled by Mercedes-Benz units in South America. The complaint alleges that the accounts were used to pay bribes. DaimlerChrysler's chief financial officer Manfred Gentz said Thursday: "From our point of view, this complaint has no merits," but the car maker was cooperating with the SEC. The man was simply seek vengeance for having been sacked, DaimlerChrysler argued.