Bio-Rad resolves corruption issues with US government

BIO-RAD Laboratories has announced the full resolution of previously-disclosed investigations by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) into past violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) that occurred from 2005 to 2010 related to Thailand, Vietnam, and Russia.

Bio-Rad reports that is discovered the potential FCPA violations and self-reported them to the DOJ and SEC in May 2010. The company says it then conducted a global investigation and significantly enhanced its internal controls, procedures, training and compliance functions designed to prevent future violations. The settlement announced today fully resolves all outstanding issues related to these investigations, it adds.

The US DOJ noted the company’s cooperation including “conducting an extensive internal investigation in several countries, voluntarily making US and foreign employees available for interviews, voluntarily producing documents from overseas, summarising its findings, translating numerous documents, and providing timely reports on witness interviews” to assist in the US government investigation.

“The actions that we discovered were completely contrary to Bio-Rad’s culture and values and ethical standards for conducting business,” said Norman Schwartz, Bio-Rad president and CEO.

The DOJ declined to prosecute Bio-Rad, and the parties entered into a Non-Prosecution Agreement under which Bio-Rad has agreed to pay a penalty of US$14.35 million. The company will pay $40.7 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest, and also agreed to certain future reporting, compliance and self-monitoring provisions over the next two years.

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