Stryker Corp. settled a long-running U.S. foreign bribery case, agreeing on Thursday to pay $13.3 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve the allegations — without admitting or denying them.
The Kalamazoo, Mich.-based medical device company first disclosed in 2007 that the SEC and the U.S. Justice Department had made inquiries regarding possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars the use of bribes to foreign officials to get or keep business.
An SEC investigation found that Stryker’s subsidiaries in Argentina, Greece, Mexico, Poland and Romania made about $2.2 million in illicit payments, describing them in company books as legitimate expenses such as charitable donations, service contracts, travel expenses and commissions. The company made about $7.5 million in profit as a result of the payments, the SEC said.
“Stryker’s misconduct involved hundreds of improper payments over a number of years during which the company’s internal controls were fatally flawed,” said Andrew Calamari, director of the SEC’s New York office, in a statement.
Joe Cooper, the director of communications for Stryker, said in an email the company has enhanced its company-wide anti-corruption compliance program, and was advised that the Justice Department closed its investigation.
A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.
The SEC issued an administrative order (pdf) against Stryker requiring the company to pay...