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Cisco Employees Released

Three Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) employees have been released by Brazilian authorities after being detained in connection with a tax evasion investigation. (See Brazil Releases Cisco Employees.)

A Cisco statement issued yesterday, announcing the news, said no formal charges have yet been filed against those employees.

Among those released was Cisco's Country Manager of Brazil, Pedro Ripper, who will return to his role.

Cisco offices in Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro were raided and temporarily closed last week as the result of a year-long investigation into possible tax evasion. (See Cisco's Brazilian Offices Raided and Cisco Brazil Office Raided.)

According to reports, authorities said Cisco's Brazilian unit had imported $500 million worth of equipment over the last five years without paying taxes on it. As a result, authorities say the company owes approximately $826.4 million in taxes, fines, and interest.

Last week, Cisco issued a statement saying its officials believe the company did not act inappropriately, since it does not sell directly into the Brazilian market but relies on resellers.

The company also pointed out that of the 44 warrants issued in connection with the investigation, only four were issued to Cisco employees.

— Ryan Lawler, Reporter, Light Reading

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