March 18, 2014 — The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) targets multinational businesses that grow their revenue abroad by showering foreign government officials with illegal bribes. When businesses stoop to paying kickbacks to obtain overseas contracts, they foster an uneven marketplace and disadvantage honest competitors. To fight foreign bribery, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 makes whistleblowers eligible for handsome rewards when they notify the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about foreign bribery operations.
Beauty Company in the Spotlight with Possible Foreign Bribery Charges
Avon Products Inc. may be forced to spend up to $132 million to settle a pending FCPA investigation by the SEC and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The federal bribery probe is looking into reports that the beauty company lavished money and gifts on foreign government officials in return for contracts allowing the company to sell its products abroad.
Avon announced in a February earnings report that it has set aside $89 million to cover possible penalties in connection with the probe. Now, reports Inside Counsel, the company may have to spend an additional $43 million to resolve the matter.
The probe, on which Avon has reportedly spent $340 million to date, has been ongoing since 2008 when the company opened its own internal investigation. Kimberly Ross, Avon’s Chief Financial Officer, has disclosed to the Wall Street Journal that the company is eager to resolve the probe to contain further associated costs. In June 2013, Avon tried to settle the inquiry for $12 million, but the government declined.
Insiders Tip Off Government to Foreign Bribery Operations
Waters & Kraus has a nationwide practice representing whistleblowers in high profile qui tam litigation because we’ve worked for it. Our qui tam lawyers understand how to collaborate with the government and we know how to safeguard your interests during the process. While Waters & Kraus is not involved in this particular FCPA case, we’ve represented many tipsters in your position — truly courageous men and women who have also felt as though they’re in a difficult spot. Contact us by email or call our FCPA lawyers at 855.784.0268 to discuss how we can join together to accomplish what’s right.