A German medical device and services company agreed to pay $231 million to settle charges of violating the anti-bribery, books and records, and internal accounting controls provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA").
According to the SEC Order, Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA ("Fresenius") made approximately $30 million in illegal payments to government officials in Saudi Arabia, Angola, and eight countries in West Africa between 2009 and 2016, and failed to accurately record such payments in its books and records in Turkey, Spain, China, Serbia, Bosnia and Mexico. These illegal payments were purportedly made through multiple schemes, including "sham consulting contracts, falsifying documents, and funneling bribes through a system of third-party intermediaries." Additionally, the SEC claimed that Fresenius failed to implement adequate internal accounting controls, failed to assign adequate compliance resources to the region, was slow to investigate red flags and instructed employees to destroy records of illegal conduct. The SEC also claimed that, in total, Fresenius benefitted by over $135 million as a result of these improper payments, and required it to pay $147 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest.
In addition, Fresenius entered into a three-year non-prosecution agreement with the DOJ that required payment of an $84.7 million criminal penalty, implementation of enhancements to its anti-bribery compliance program, and the retention of an independent corporate compliance monitor for at least two years.
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