Over the past five years, the U.S. Department of Justice along with the Securities and Exchange Commission have been investigating allegations that German automaker Daimler and three of its subsidiaries paid tens of millions of dollars in bribes through offshore bank accounts to secure contracts for its vehicles.

According to court documentation released today, the bribes took place between 1998 and 2008 in at least 22 countries that included China, Russia, Egypt and Greece. In one such case, it is alleged that Daimler made payments to officials in Iraq under the Oil for Food program.

According to The Associated Press, Daimler has agreed to pay $93.6 million to the Justice Department and $91.4 million to resolve the SEC's civil lawsuit. Further, Daimler units in Germany and Russia have reportedly agreed to plead guilty to conspiring and violating antibribery provisions of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. A hearing has reportedly been scheduled for April 1st, so consider this story "developing..."

[Source: The Associated Press via Google | Image: Sascha Schuermann/AFP/Getty Images]