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Tyco in Hot Water Once Again After FCPA Settlement

Jaclyn Jaeger | October 2, 2012

Anyone searching for some broader context to understand how Tyco International lurched into yet another bribery scandal—the third major misconduct meltdown to hit Tyco or one of its spin-off companies since 2002—would do well to ponder one of the most famous lines from The Godfather.

“Just when I thought I was out,” crime boss Michael Corleone utters in frustration, desperate to take the family business legitimate, “they pull me back in again.”

In truth, a better literary allusion for the bribery scheme, announced by the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, might be a John LeCarre spy thriller. The SEC's complaint identifies 12 separate bribery efforts run by Tyco subsidiaries from 1999 to 2009. Executives in China, France, Germany, Turkey, and elsewhere tapped resellers and other operatives, often working in yet more locations, to funnel money to foreign officials in exchange for lucrative petroleum contracts. The payments were recorded as...

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