The United States (US) Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that California based biotechnology company Amgen Inc (Amgen) has agreed to pay US$24.9 million to settle claims that it paid kickbacks to three pharmacy providers in return for implementing "'therapeutic interchange' programs that were designed to switch Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries from a competitor drug to [chronic kidney failure-related anaemia treatment product Aranesp]".
The United States (US) Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that health system operator Intermountain Health Care Inc (Intermountain) has agreed to pay US$25.5 million to settle claims it violated the Stark Statute and the False Claims Act through improper financial relationships between hospitals and the doctors referring patients to them. According to the DoJ, the relationships allegedly in violation included "employment agreements under which the physicians received bonuses that improperly took into account the value of some of their patient referrals" and "office leases and compensation arrangements between Intermountain and referring physicians".
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (Wal-Mart) indicated it was ‘probable’ that they would incur a loss because of its ongoing bribery investigations. Wal-Mart does not think the loss will be material at this point, but said that could change in the future. Last April, allegations surfaced that the company failed to report the fact that company officials authorized millions of dollars in payments to Mexican government officials to speed up the acquisition of building permits and other favors.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have opened preliminary bribery investigations into Microsoft’s possible violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). According to a person briefed on the inquiry, an unnamed whistleblower came forward last year claiming a Microsoft official in China instructed the whistleblower to pay bribes to government officials in order to win business. The agencies are also investigating claims of misconduct in Italy and Romania. According to the person briefed on the inquiry, Microsoft conducted an internal investigation on the China accusations in 2010 with the aid of an outside law firm and found no evidence of improper behavior.
The Las Vegas Sands Corporation (Sands) indicated in its annual regulatory filing last week that its audit committee and independent accountants had concluded that the company likely violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The admission comes at the same time the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been conducting an investigation into the company’s activities in China. According to the filing, Sands is cooperating with all investigations and the company did not believe the filing would have an impact on financial statements or necessitate revisions to its past statements.
Tom Mars, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (Wal-Mart) chief administrative officer, will leave the company on March 13 after more than ten years with the retail giant. Wal-Mart declined to elaborate on the reason for his departure. Mars was the company’s general counsel from 2002 to 2009. He was involved in an investigation into bribery allegations regarding a Wal-Mart store built near Mexican pyramids. Member of two House committees began an investigation into possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act after the New York Times reported in 2012 that Wal-Mart executives learned in 2005 of allegations that bribes were used to gain government approval of Wal-Mart store openings in Mexico.
3M Company (3M) announced this week that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) informed the company in January that they would be dropping their bribery investigation without taking any actions. The agencies had been investigating 3M since 2009 regarding possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) after the company voluntarily disclosed it was conducting an internal probe into one of its subsidiaries located in Turkey.
U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan ruled last week that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission could continue to pursue bribery charges against three former Deutsche Telekom AG executives. Sullivan rejected a motion filed by the three executives to dismiss the case alleging violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The defendants, Elek Straub, Andras Balogh, and Tamas Morval, argued that the SEC did not have jurisdiction to sue them in the U.S. because the case hinged on only a few emails that were sent through U.S. servers. However, Sullivan ruled there was enough evidence to suggest the defendants intended harm in the U.S.
Italian police have arrested Finmeccanica chief executive and chairperson Giuseppe Orsi on allegations that he bribed intermediaries in the €560 million (approximately US$749 million) sale of 12 helicopters from the Italian state-controlled defence technologies conglomerate to the Indian Government. Reportedly, Indian Defence Minister A. K. Antony has ordered India's federal police to conduct an inquiry into the deal, which allegedly involved kickbacks worth Rs40 million paid to Indian officials.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (Wal-Mart) has named Karen Roberts as its new general counsel. Roberts will assume her new role beginning on February 1. The previous general counsel, Jeff Gearhart will continue to lead the legal department as executive vice president and corporate secretary and focus his efforts on global compliance efforts as Wal-Mart continues to deal with bribery allegations in Mexico. Wal-Mart has been under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and The Securities and Exchange Commission regarding allegations that the company bribed Mexican officials in order to more quickly open stores in the country.
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