German industrial giant Siemens, accused of winning foreign contracts illegally, is to pay $800m to settle a corruption case in the US following a court settlement today.

Under the US district court settlement, Siemens is to pay a $450m fine and agreed to a $350m settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, according to court documents.

The 161-year-old German conglomerate, whose shares are listed on the New York Stock exchange since 2001, has acknowledged that up to €1.3 billion ($1.7 billion) may have been used illegally to win foreign contracts.

Siemens found the practice was widespread across its numerous divisions. Prosecutors have investigated around 300 people in connection with the affair.

It led to the resignation of a string of top executives, including CEO Klaus Kleinfeld and his long-term predecessor and chairman of the board, Heinrich von Pierer.

The German group recently took provisions of €1 billion against potential fines in both Germany and the US.