Maxwell Technologies, Inc. (“Maxwell”) have settled FCPA charges with the DOJ as well as the SEC. The violations at Maxwell occurred from 2002 through May 2009. During that period the company marketed products through its Swiss subsidiary in China. Sales were made by a Chinese agent to state owned enterprises. The sales invoices had added 20% to cover the cost of the kickbacks. Overall the company paid $2.5 million in bribes and was awarded contracts that generated $15 million in revenue and $5.6 million in profits. In February 2009 a new Maxwell sales director learned about the kickbacks and informed the CEO who in turn notified the audit committee and outside counsel. After inquiry the company disclosed the potential FCPA issues in its Form 10-Q filing for the quarter ended March 31, 2009.
The company resolved the issues with the DOJ. A two count criminal information was filed, charging the company with violating the anti-bribery and books and records provisions of the FCPA. Maxwell entered into a deferred prosecution agreement. It also agreed to implement enhanced procedures and pay a criminal fine of $8 million. In the SEC settlement the company consented to the entry of a permanent injunction prohibiting future violations of the anti-bribery and books and records and internal control provisions of the FCPA. Maxwell also agreed to pay disgorgement of $5,654,567 and prejudgment interest of $696,314. The company will also be required to comply with certain undertaking regarding its FCPA compliance program. The DOJ noted that the company voluntarily disclosed the violations. The SEC stated that the company cooperated.