Bio-Rad settles bribery violations in Thailand, Russia and Vietnam for $55m

By Zachary Brennan

- Last updated on GMT

Bio-Rad settles bribery violations in Thailand, Russia and Vietnam
Bio-Rad Laboratories, a provider of research and clinical diagnostic products, has paid more than $55m to settle past violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) that occurred from 2005 to 2010 related to Thailand, Vietnam, and Russia.

Bio-Rad discovered the potential FCPA violations and self-reported them to the DOJ (Department of Justice) and SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) in May 2010.

The DOJ declined to prosecute Bio-Rad, and the parties entered into an agreement under which Bio-Rad agreed to pay a penalty of $14.35m. Under the terms of the civil settlement with the SEC, the Company will pay $40.7m in disgorgement and prejudgment interest.

Company employees at the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists annual meeting in San Diego refused to comment on what exactly transpired in Thailand, Vietnam and Russia. A spokesman also told us that the company has no comment.

Norman Schwartz, Bio-Rad President and CEO, said in a statement: "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, including terminating involved employees and committing substantial resources to strengthening our compliance functions and financial controls. Bio-Rad prides itself on operating with the highest levels of integrity, and I am pleased that this settlement fully resolves the government's FCPA investigation and puts this matter behind us​."

The company says it conducted a thorough global investigation with the assistance of independent legal and forensic specialists, terminated involved employees and third party agents, and significantly enhanced its internal controls, procedures, training and compliance functions designed to prevent future violations.

In announcing the settlement, both the DOJ and the SEC recognized Bio-Rad's disclosure, and extensive cooperation and remediation.

The company has also agreed to certain future reporting, compliance and self-monitoring provisions over the next two years. Bio-Rad also previously reserved $43m for this settlement and has reserved an additional $12.05m in Q3 so that the total settlement amount will have been fully reserved as of September 30, 2014.

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