August 4, 2014 — The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is one of the government’s most powerful tools to stop multinational businesses from bribing foreign government officials in an effort to obtain business abroad. When companies win contracts with kickbacks rather than free competition, they engender an uneven marketplace that hampers free trade. To redress the problem, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) of 2010 provides significant financial rewards for tipsters who notify the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about FCPA violations.
SEC Subpoenas Biomet Over Potential Violations Of FCPA Settlement Agreement By Company Employees In Mexico And Brazil
Biomet Inc., the manufacturer of orthopedic medical devices, has announced that it has been subpoenaed by the SEC concerning the company’s possible violation of settlement terms negotiated two years ago following an FCPA investigation.
In a securities filing with the SEC, Biomet disclosed that the SEC’s subpoena compelled the company to produce documents in connection with possible improprieties in the company’s operations in Mexico and Brazil. According to Biomet, it first became aware of this possible misconduct in October 2013 and disclosed it in April 2014.
In March 2012, the Indiana medical device manufacturer consented to a $22.7 million settlement with the U.S. Justice Department and the SEC. In addition, Biomet agreed to retain a compliance monitor to ensure that no further FCPA violations took place. In its recent SEC filing, Biomet disclosed that it had employed counsel, as well as “other experts” to investigate possible foreign bribery operations in Mexico and Brazil. As a result of that internal investigation, Biomet reportedly disciplined, suspended or terminated the employees found to be involved. Then, in April 2014, Biomet reported the results of its internal probe to the compliance monitor and to the Justice Department and the SEC.
Biomet describes the Justice Department as having “sole discretion” concerning the decision whether the medical device maker violated its deferred prosecution agreement. If the agreement was breached, the Justice Department has the authority to revoke or extend the agreement or to prosecute Biomet or the individuals involved in any alleged FCPA violations.
Whistleblowers Notify SEC About Foreign Bribery Operations
Waters & Paul has earned its reputation for the successful representation of whistleblowers in qui tam lawsuits. We understand that collaborating with the government about an employer’s FCPA violations can be a daunting challenge. While Waters & Kraus is not handling this particular case, we are handling similar cases. If you have similar claims against a different company, contact us or call our attorneys at 855.784.0268. Our experienced lawyers, such as Michael Armitage in Los Angeles, are devoted to protecting tipsters’ rights.
Contact us by email or call our FCPA lawyers at 855.784.0268 to discuss how, together, we can do the right thing.