SEC Enforcement Actions: FCPA Cases

Enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) continues to be a high priority area for the SEC. In 2010, the SEC's Enforcement Division created a specialized unit to further enhance its enforcement of the FCPA, which prohibits U.S. companies from bribing foreign officials for government contracts and other business.

The following is a list of the SEC's FCPA enforcement actions listed by calendar year:

2014

  • Smith & Wesson - SEC charged the Springfield, Mass.-based firearms manufacturer with violating the FCPA when employees and representatives authorized and made improper payments to foreign officials while trying to win contracts to supply products to military and law enforcement overseas. (7/28/14)
  • Hewlett-Packard - SEC charged the Palo Alto, Calif.-based technology company with violating the FCPA when subsidiaries in three countries made improper payments to government officials to obtain or retain lucrative public contracts. H-P agreed to pay $108 million to settle the SEC charges and a parallel criminal case. (4/9/14)
  • Alcoa - SEC charged the global aluminum producer with violating the FCPA when its subsidiaries repeatedly paid bribes to government officials in Bahrain to maintain a key source of business. Alcoa agreed to pay $384 million to settle the SEC charges and a parallel criminal case. (1/9/14)

2013

  • Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. - SEC charged the Illinois-based global food processor for failing to prevent illicit payments made by foreign subsidiaries to Ukrainian government officials in violation of the FCPA. ADM agreed to pay more than $36 million to settle the SEC's charges. (12/20/13)
  • Weatherford International - SEC charged the Swiss-based oilfield services company with authorizing bribes and improper travel and entertainment for foreign officials in the Middle East and Africa to win business. Weatherford agreed to pay more than $250 million to settle cases with the SEC and other agencies. (11/26/13)
  • Stryker Corporation - SEC charged the Michigan-based medical technology company with violating the FCPA by bribing doctors and other government officials in five countries to obtain or retain business and make $7.5 million in illicit profits. Stryker agreed to pay more than $13.2 million to settle the SEC's charges. (10/24/13)
  • Diebold - SEC charged the Ohio-based manufacturer of ATMs and bank security systems with violating the FCPA by bribing officials at government-owned banks with pleasure trips to popular tourist destinations in order to illicitly win business. Diebold agreed to pay $48 million to settle SEC and Justice Department cases. (10/22/13)
  • Total S.A. - SEC charged the France-based oil and gas company for paying bribes to intermediaries of an Iranian government official who then exercised his influence to help the company obtain valuable contracts to develop oil and gas fields. Total agreed to pay $398 million to settle SEC and criminal charges. (5/29/13)
  • Ralph Lauren Corporation - SEC announced a non-prosecution agreement (NPA) with Ralph Lauren Corporation in which the company will disgorge more than $700,000 in illicit profits and interest obtained in connection with bribes paid by a subsidiary to government officials in Argentina from 2005 to 2009. (4/22/13)
  • Parker Drilling Company - SEC charged the worldwide drilling services and project management firm with violating the FCPA by authorizing improper payments to a third-party intermediary in order to entertain Nigerian officials involved in resolving the company's customs disputes. Parker Drilling agreed to pay $4 million to settle the SEC's charges. (4/16/13)
  • Koninklijke Philips Electronics - SEC charged the Netherlands-based health care company with FCPA violations related to improper payments made by employees at its Polish subsidiary to health care officials in Poland. Philips agreed to pay more than $4.5 million to settle the charges. (4/5/13)

2012

  • Eli Lilly and Company - SEC charged the Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical company for improper payments its subsidiaries made to foreign government officials to win business in Russia, Brazil, China, and Poland. Lilly agreed to pay more than $29 million to settle the charges. (12/20/12)
  • Allianz SE - SEC charged the Germany-based insurer with violating the books and records and internal controls provisions of the FCPA for improper payments to government officials in Indonesia that resulted in $5.3 million in profits. Allianz agreed to pay more than $12.3 million to settle the SEC's charges. (12/17/12)
  • Tyco International - SEC charged the Swiss-based global manufacturer with violating the FCPA when subsidiaries arranged illicit payments to foreign officials in more than a dozen countries.  Tyco agreed to pay $26 million to settle the SEC's charges and resolve a criminal matter with the Justice Department. (9/24/12)
  • Oracle - SEC charged the California-based computer technology company with violating FCPA by failing to prevent a subsidiary from secretly setting aside money off the company's books to make unauthorized payments to phony vendors in India. (8/16/12)
  • Pfizer - SEC charged the pharmaceutical company for illegal payments made by its subsidiaries to foreign officials in Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Serbia to obtain regulatory approvals, sales, and increased prescriptions for its products. Pfizer and recently acquired Wyeth LLC - charged with its own FCPA violations - agreed to pay a combined $45 million in their settlements. (8/7/12)
  • Orthofix International - SEC charged the Texas-based medical device company with violating the FCPA when a subsidiary paid routine bribes referred to as “chocolates” to Mexican officials in order to obtain lucrative sales contracts with government hospitals. (7/10/12)
  • Former Morgan Stanley executive - SEC charged Garth R. Peterson with secretly acquiring millions of dollars worth of real estate investments for himself and an influential Chinese official who in turn steered business to Morgan Stanley's funds. He agreed to a settlement in which he is permanently barred from the securities industry and must pay more than $250,000 in disgorgement and relinquish his approximately $3.4 million interest in Shanghai real estate acquired in his scheme. (4/25/12)
  • Biomet - SEC charged the Warsaw, Ind.-based medical device company with violating the FCPA when its subsidiaries and agents bribed public doctors in Argentina, Brazil, and China for nearly a decade to win business. (3/26/12)
  • Noble Corporation executives - SEC charged three oil services executives with bribing customs officials in Nigeria to obtain illicit permits for oil rigs in order to retain business under lucrative drilling contracts. (2/24/12)
  • Smith & Nephew - SEC charged the London-based medical device company with violating the FCPA when its U.S. and German subsidiaries bribed public doctors in Greece for more than a decade to win business. The company and its U.S. subsidiary agreed to pay more than $22 million to settle civil and criminal cases. (2/6/12)

2011

  • Magyar Telekom - SEC charged the largest telecommunications provider in Hungary and three of its former top executives with bribing government and political party officials in Macedonia and Montenegro. The firm and its parent company agreed to pay $95 million to settle civil and criminal charges. (12/29/11)
  • Aon Corporation - SEC charged one of the world's largest insurance brokerage firms with violations of the books and records and internal controls provisions of the FCPA. Aon agreed to pay $14.5 million to settle SEC charges and a $1.7 million criminal fine to the Department of Justice. (12/20/11)
  • Siemens executives - SEC charged seven former Siemens executives for their involvement in the company's decade-long bribery scheme to retain a $1 billion government contract to produce national identity cards for Argentine citizens. (12/13/11)
  • Watts Water Technologies and Leesen Chang – SEC charged the company and a former vice president of sales for improper payments disguised as sales commissions by its Chinese subsidiary to employees at state-owned design institutes in order to influence design specifications that favored their valve products for infrastructure products in China. (10/13/11)
  • Diageo – SEC charged one of the world's largest producers of premium alcoholic beverages for making $2.7 million in improper payments to government officials in India, Thailand, and South Korea to obtain lucrative sales and tax benefits. Diageo agreed to pay more than $16 million to settle the case. (7/27/11) [Administrative Proceeding]
  • Armor Holdings – SEC charged the Jacksonville, Fla.-based body armor supplier for illicit payments to United Nations officials to obtain contracts related to U.N. peacekeeping missions. Armor Holdings agreed to an SEC settlement of $5.7 million and a criminal fine of $10.29 million. (7/13/11)
  • Tenaris – SEC sanctioned the global manufacturer of steel pipe products for bribing Uzbekistan government officials during a bidding process to supply pipelines for transporting oil and natural gas. Tenaris agreed to pay $5.4 million under a Deferred Prosecution Agreement, and paid a $3.9 million criminal fine. (5/17/11)
  • Rockwell Automation – SEC charged the Milwaukee-based company for illicit payments made and leisure travel provided by a former subsidiary in China to state-owned enterprises that provided design engineering and technical integration services to influence contract awards. (5/3/11)
  • Johnson & Johnson – SEC charged the New Brunswick, N.J.-based pharmaceutical company for bribing public doctors in several European countries to win contracts for their products and paying kickbacks to Iraq to illegally obtain business. J&J agreed to pay $70 million to settle cases brought by the SEC and criminal authorities. (4/8/11)
  • Comverse Technology – SEC charged the New York-based company for its Israeli subsidiary's improper offshore payments to government officials in Greece. (4/7/11)
  • Ball Corporation – SEC charged the Colorado-based manufacturer of metal packaging for beverages, foods and household products for improper payments to employees of Argentina's government in order to import prohibited used machinery and export raw materials at reduced tariffs. (3/24/11) [Administrative Proceeding]
  • International Business Machines Corp. – SEC charged IBM for providing improper cash payments, gifts, and travel and entertainment to government officials in China and South Korea in order to secure the sale of IBM products. IBM agreed to pay $10 million to settle the SEC's charges. (3/18/11)
  • Tyson Foods – SEC charged the worldwide chicken manufacturer for making illicit payments to two Mexican government veterinarians responsible for certifying its Mexican subsidiary's chicken products for export sales. Tyson Foods agreed to pay $5 million to settle SEC and criminal charges. (2/10/11)
  • Maxwell Technologies – SEC charged the energy-related products manufacturer for making repeated bribes to Chinese government officials to obtain business from several state-owned entities. San Diego-based Maxwell agreed to an SEC settlement of more than $6.3 million as well as an $8 million criminal penalty. (1/31/11)
  • Paul W. Jennings (Innospec) – SEC charged the CEO of Innospec for approving bribes paid to government officials in Iraq and Indonesia. (1/24/11)

2010

  • Alcatel-Lucent – SEC charged the Paris-based telecommunications company for using consultants who performed little or no legitimate work to funnel bribes to government officials and win contracts in Latin America and Asia. Alcatel agreed to pay $137 million to settle SEC and Department of Justice charges. (12/27/10)
  • RAE Systems – SEC charged San Jose-based company for making improper payments to Chinese officials through two of its Chinese joint venture entities in order to obtain significant government contracts for sale of gas and chemical detection products. (12/10/10)
  • Seven Oil Services and Freight Forwarding Companies – The SEC charged Panalpina, Pride International, Tidewater, Transocean, GlobalSantaFe Corp., Noble Corporation, and Royal Dutch Shell plc with widespread bribery of customs officials in more than 10 countries to receive preferential treatment and improper benefits during the customs process. (11/4/10) [Administrative Proceeding]
  • ABB Ltd. – SEC charged the Swiss-based global provider of power and automation products for using a U.S. subsidiary to pay bribes to officials at Mexico's largest power company as well as to pay kickbacks to Iraq to obtain contracts under the U.N. Oil for Food Program. ABB agreed to a $39.3 million settlement. (9/29/10)
  • Alliance One and Universal Corporation – SEC charged two global tobacco companies for making more than $5 million in secret payments to curry favor with government officials in Thailand and around the world to illicitly obtain tobacco sales contracts. The companies paid $28.3 million to settle SEC and criminal charges. (8/6/10)
  • Joe Summers (Pride International) – SEC charged a former manager at one of the world's largest offshore drilling companies for authorizing bribes to government officials in Venezuela to extend drilling contracts and secure difficult-to-obtain receivables from the government following widespread strikes and civil unrest. (8/5/10)
  • David P. Turner and Ousama Naaman (Innospec) – SEC charged a former business director at Innospec and the company's third-party agent in Iraq for engaging in widespread bribery of Iraqi government officials to land contracts under the U.N. Oil-for-Food Program. (8/5/10)
  • General Electric, Ionics Inc., and Amersham plc – SEC charged GE and two subsidiaries for illegal kickback payments made in the form of cash, computer equipment, medical supplies, and services to the Iraqi government in order to obtain U.N. Oil for Food Program contracts. GE paid $23 million to settle the charges. (7/27/10)
  • ENI and Snamprogetti Netherlands BV – SEC charged an Italian company and its former Dutch subsidiary in a decade-long bribery scheme that included deliveries of cash-filled briefcases and vehicles to Nigerian government officials to win construction contracts. Snamprogetti and ENI jointly paid $365 million to settle SEC and criminal charges. (7/7/10)
  • Veraz Networks – SEC charged the California-based telecommunications company for improper gifts and payments made to foreign officials in China and Vietnam to win business shortly after the company went public. (6/29/10)
  • Technip SA – SEC charged the Paris-based global engineering company for bribing Nigerian government officials over a 10-year period in order to win construction contracts worth more than $6 billion. Technip agreed to pay $338 million to settle SEC and criminal charges. (6/28/10)
  • Elkin, Myers, Reynolds, Williams (Alliance One) – SEC charged four former executives and employees at the global tobacco company now named Alliance One International for their involvement in the payment of bribes to government officials in Kyrgyzstan and Thailand. (4/28/10)
  • DaimlerChrysler AG – SEC charged the Stuttgart, Germany-based automobile manufacturer for its repeated and systematic practice of paying bribes to foreign government officials to secure business in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. Daimler paid $185 million to settle SEC and criminal charges. (4/1/10)
  • Innospec Inc. – SEC charged the specialty chemical company for its widespread bribery of foreign government officials in Iraq and Indonesia to obtain and retain business. Innospec agreed to a $40.2 million global settlement with the SEC and other agencies in the U.S. and U.K. (3/18/10)
  • NATCO Group Inc. – SEC charged the Houston-based oil field services provider for the misconduct of a subsidiary in creating and accepting false documents while paying extorted immigration fines and obtaining immigration visas in Kazakhstan. (1/11/10) [Administrative Proceeding]

Previous Years

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

  • IBM - 12/21/00

1997

1996

1986

  • Ashland Oil Inc. and Orin E. Atkins (86-cv-1904)(D.D.C. 7/8/86)

1981

  • Sam P. Wallace Co. Inc., Robert Buckner and Alfonso Rodriguez (81-cv-1915)(D.D.C. 8/13/81)

1980

  • Tesoro Petroleum Corp. (80-cv-2961) (D.D.C. 11/20/80)

1979

  • International Systems & Controls Corporation (79-cv-1760) (D.D.C. 7/9/79)

1978

  • Katy Industries, Inc., Wallace Carroll and Melvan Jacobs (78-cv-03476)(N.D. Ill. 8/30/78)
  • Page Airways, Inc., James Wilmot, Gerald Wilmot, Douglas Juston, Ross Chapin, James Lawler, and T. Richard Olney (78-cv-0656) (D.D.C. 4/11/78)