J&J Settles US, UK Bribery, Kickback Charges
April 11, 2011
Johnson & Johnson will pay $78 million to settle U.S. and UK charges that it paid bribes and kickbacks to win business overseas, reports Reuters. Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay a $21.4 million fine to settle Justice Department criminal charges and pay more than $48.6 million in disgorgement and interest to settle allegations by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the agencies said on Friday. The allegations date back to 1998 and involved sham contracts, bribes and kickbacks paid by J&J units to officials and doctors in Greece, Iraq, Poland and Romania to help earn millions of dollars in profits, according to authorities. The criminal fine was reduced in light of the company''s cooperation. Authorities accused J&J units of paying bribes to public doctors in Greece to select its surgical implants and in Romania to prescribe its medicines, earning the company millions of dollars in profits. J&J subsidiaries were also accused of paying bribes to public doctors and hospital administrators in Poland to win contracts and of paying kickbacks to Iraq to win 19 contracts under the U.N.''s Oil for Food Program. J&J did not admit or deny the SEC''s allegations but acknowledged responsibility in the Justice Department case for the actions of its units, employees and agents who made the improper payments. Under the settlement, J&J will enter into a three-year deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department.