A California-based clinical diagnostic and life science research company has reportedly agreed to pay $55 million to resolve U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) claims that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by failing to prevent or detect some $7.5 million in bribes paid to foreign officials in Russia, Thailand and Vietnam to secure business.
SEC claims that the unlawful payments enabled Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. to earn $35.1 million in profits. The company self-reported the misconduct, cooperated with the investigation and undertook “significant and extensive remedial actions,” efforts that SEC credited in the enforcement action. As part of the settlement, the company will enter a non-prosecution agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice “to resolve potential criminal liability.” Bio-Rad will also undertake reporting, compliance and self-monitoring obligations for two years.
President and CEO Norman Schwartz reportedly said, “The actions that we discovered were completely contrary to Bio-Rad’s culture and values and ethical standards for conducting business. We took strong, decisive action to end the problematic practices and prevent anything like this from happening in the future. . . . I am pleased that this settlement fully resolves the government’s FCPA investigation and puts this matter behind us.” See GenomeWeb.com and SEC News Release, November 3, 2014.