Dow Chemical to pay SEC $325,000
The Associated Press reports that Dow Chemical Co. will pay a $325,000 civil penalty to settle charges that a subsidiary made improper payments to Indian government officials who held sway over regulatory approvals for the company''s pesticides, the Securities and Exchange Commission said. Dow Chemical, which is based in Midland, Mich., also agreed to cease and desist from future violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It settled without admitting or denying wrongdoing, the SEC said. The SEC found that, from 1996 through 2001, Dow Chemical''s DE-Nocil Crop Protection Ltd. unit improperly paid an estimated $200,000 to Indian state and federal officials as it sought to register several products slated for marketing in time for India''s growing season. The SEC said these payments weren''t adequately reflected in Dow Chemical''s books and records, and that the company''s system of internal controls failed to prevent the payments. The SEC said Dow Chemical conducted an internal investigation and voluntarily presented the results to the SEC, and also disciplined employees. The company also hired an independent auditor to review its books, and expanded training in how to comply with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the SEC said.