Charges Dropped for IBM Misuse of Treasury Seal

April 12, 2006 ( - The Department of Justice has declined to become involved in criminal and civil charges against International Business Machines (IBM) that it misused the Department of Treasury's official seal on a document distributed by staff.

According to the Associated Press, a report released by the Justice Department’s inspector general said that the use of the seal and name had been referred for action by the Treasury Department.

In 2003, an IBM lobbyist distributed a document that supported IBM’s position on pending cash-balance pension legislation to various congressional offices.   The Treasury Department found that IBM had taken its e-mailed “talking points” on the legislation, pasted a Treasury Department seal on them and distributed them as an information package to congressional staff members, the AP said.

The inspector general’s report did not make clear who provided the talking points to IBM.

IBM said the employees who distributed the document “believed that they were redistributing a public document that had previously been widely distributed externally by Treasury, and in no way had IBM altered the contents of that document.”   It pointed out that it has cooperated with the inspector general and expressed regret to the Treasury Department for any misunderstanding.