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LEWISVILLE, Texas—Orthofix International N.V., an orthopedic medical device company, has agreed to pay $5.2 million to settle charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission that its Mexican subsidiary violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the SEC said Tuesday.
In an SEC filing, the Lewisville, Texas-based company said it also will pay a $2.2 million penalty to the U.S. Department of Justice in the same matter.
According to the complaint, from 2003 to 2010 the company’s Mexican subsidiary, Promeca S.A. de C.V., repeatedly paid bribes totaling about $317,000 to Mexican officials in order to obtain and retain sales contractors from Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, the Mexican-government owned health care and social series institution. “Promeca employees referred to these payments as ‘chocolates,’” said the complaint.
These improper payments, which were falsely recorded as cash advances to Promeca executives or training and promotions expenses, generated about $8.7 million in gross revenues for Orthofix and illicit net profits of about $4.9 million, according to the complaint.
The complaint said upon discovery of the bribe payments through a Promeca executive, Orthofix immediately self-reported the matter to the SEC, conducted an internal investigation and implemented “significant” remedial measures.
The settlement is subject to court approval.
A company spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.
NEW YORK—Despite significant investment in anti-bribery compliance, most executives of large firms are concerned about their exposure to bribery risk, and many are falling short of best practices with respect to third-party screening, facilitating payments and political donations, according to a survey released Wednesday by New York-based Kroll Advisory Solutions.