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Bio-Rad Laboratories Will Pay $55M to Settle FCPA Charges

Joe Mont | November 3, 2014

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Bio-Rad Laboratories, a clinical diagnostic and life science research company based in California, with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act when its subsidiaries made improper payments to foreign officials in Russia, Vietnam, and Thailand in order to win business. The company, which self-reported the misconduct, agreed to pay $55 million to settle the SEC’s charges and a parallel action announced today by the U.S. Department of Justice.

An SEC investigation found that Bio-Rad Laboratories lacked sufficient internal controls to prevent or detect approximately $7.5 million in bribes that were paid during a five-year period and improperly recorded in books and records as legitimate expenses like commissions, advertising, and training fees. The improper payments enabled Bio-Rad to earn an estimated $35 million in illicit profits.

“This enforcement...

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