Massachusetts-based Imaging Company and Danish Subsidiary Settle FCPA Charges with the SEC and DOJ

On June 21, the SEC and DOJ announced a nearly $15 million settlement with a Massachusetts-based imaging company and its wholly-owned Danish subsidiary to resolve parallel civil and criminal actions involving FCPA violations. The SEC alleged that, from at least 2001 through early 2011, the subsidiary paid about $20 million to third parties in hundreds of sham transactions with distributors in Russia and shell companies in Belize, the British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, and Seychelles. The sham transactions involved fictitious inflated invoices to the distributors with the over-payments going to third parties identified by the distributors. The subsidiary did not have a relationship with the third parties and did not know if the payments had any business purpose for the distributors.

The settlement is consistent with the settlement offer that the imaging company disclosed last December, and it reflects the company’s agreement to pay $7.67 million in disgorgement and $3.8 million in prejudgment interest to resolve the SEC’s books and records and internal controls charges, and the subsidiary’s agreement to pay $3.4 million in criminal fines in a non-prosecution agreement with the DOJ. The subsidiary’s former CFO also settled with the SEC, agreeing to pay a $20,000 penalty to settle allegations that he knowingly circumvented internal controls and falsified the subsidiary’s books and records.

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DOJ Determines that Indiana-Based Medical Device Manufacturer Breached FCPA Deferred Prosecution Agreement

On June 6, the DOJ filed a status report with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia stating that an Indiana-based medical device manufacturer had violated its 2012 deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) related to FCPA charges. Specifically, the DOJ stated that it notified the medical device manufacturer on April 15, 2016 that “the government had determined that [it] had breached the DPA based on the conduct in Mexico and Brazil and based on [its] failure to implement and maintain a compliance program as required by the DPA.”

The medical device manufacturer had settled FCPA charges with the DOJ and SEC in 2012 related to the company’s conduct in Argentina, Brazil, and China. As previously reported in the FCPA Scorecard, the company’s DPA had been extended twice since 2012: once in March 2015 because the company had discovered additional potential FCPA violations in Brazil and Mexico, and again in March 2016. According to the DOJ, the company and the DOJ are in discussions to resolve the matter without a trial.

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SEC Reaches Non-Prosecution Agreements for Bribes of Chinese Officials; DOJ Declines to Pursue FCPA Enforcement Actions

On June 7, the SEC announced it had entered into non-prosecution agreements with two unrelated companies in connection with bribes paid to Chinese officials by foreign subsidiaries. First, a Massachusetts-based internet services provider agreed to pay $652,000 in disgorgement and $19,433 in interest. According to its agreement, the company’s foreign subsidiary had paid bribes to induce Chinese government-owned entities to purchase more services than they needed. Second, a Rhode Island-based residential and commercial building products manufacturer agreed to pay $291,000 in disgorgement and $30,000 in interest. According to that agreement, the company’s subsidiary made improper payments and gifts to Chinese officials in exchange for preferential treatment, relaxed regulatory oversight, and reduced customs duties, taxes, and fees. The agreements each stipulate that the companies are not charged with violations of the FCPA and will not pay any additional monetary penalties. Read more…

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DOJ Closes FCPA Investigation into Onshore, Rig-based Well Servicing Contractor Without Prosecution; SEC Negotiations Continuing

On April 28, an onshore, rig-based well servicing contractor with operations in the United States, Mexico, and Russia announced that the DOJ had closed its investigation into possible violations of the FCPA in relation to the company’s Mexico operations and declined prosecution. The company stated that it is still in negotiations with the SEC regarding possible violations involving the company’s Russian business. The company has been under investigation by the SEC and DOJ since 2014, when the company made a voluntary disclosure to both agencies about the Mexico allegations.

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Colorado Mining Company Announces FCPA Investigation

Recently, a gold mining company based in Colorado disclosed in its quarterly filings an investigation of certain business activities of the company and its affiliates outside the U.S. for possible violations of the FCPA. The company stated that it had hired outside counsel to assist in the investigation, and it was working with the SEC and DOJ with respect to the investigation. The company also stated that, in March 2016, it entered into one-year tolling agreements with the SEC and DOJ. The company’s recent disclosure of the investigation did not specify the nature of the business activities being investigated or where the potential misconduct took place, but the company has mining operations in Ghana, Australia, Indonesia, Peru, and Suriname.

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