Digital News Report – Johnson and Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) has agreed to pay $70 million to settle charges for bribing public doctors from different European countries and for paying kickbacks to get contracts for business in Iraq illegally. J&J was accused by the SEC for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that they have charged Johnson and Johnson for bribing and kickbacks in foreign countries. J&J agreed to settle the charges by paying over $48.6 million for disgorgement and pre-judgement interest and also to pay a $21.4 million fine to settle parallel criminal charges that were also announced today by the US Department of Justice (DOJ).
The SEC said that the United Kingdom Serious Fraud Office is also conducting a similar investigation.
The SEC said that allegations of Johnson and Johnson bribing public doctors in European countries have been going on since at least 1998. The government agency said that they have paid bribes to public doctors in Greece if they used the J&J surgical implants. J&J paid bribes to public doctors and hospital administrators in Poland who awarded the company contracts. In Romania, J&J paid bribes for public doctors to prescribe their pharmaceutical products. In Iraq, J&J subsidiaries paid kickbacks in order to get 19 contracts under the United Nations Oil for Food Program.
Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement said that J&J acquired a “private company for the purpose of paying bribes, and using sham contracts, off-shore companies, and slush funds to cover its tracks.”
By Victoria Brown