Bio-Rad Pays $55 Million Over Russia Bribe Allegations

Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc., a California-based medical diagnostics firm and sales firm, will pay a $55 million to resolve federal claims it paid bribes to win contracts in Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The U.S. Justice Department announced Monday that Bio-Rad used its French subsidiary to hire and pay intermediary companies commissions in exchange for purported services in Russia, but in fact the services were not performed.  The company agreed to pay a $14.4 million penalty.

In addition, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced it entered a cease and desist order against Bio-Rad and the company agreed to disgorge nearly $41 million in connection with company sales in Russian, Thailand and Vietnam.

Managers at Bio-Rad, based in Hercules, California, knew the intermediary companies did not perform the work and thus that the payments were to be used to secure contracts, according to the government.

Bio-Rad then falsely recorded the payments as commissions on its books in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the government alleged.

The DOJ agreed to enter into a non-prosecution agreement with Bio-Rad , in large part because of Bio-Rad’s self-disclosure of the misconduct and full cooperation with the department’s investigation.

The company also agreed to take remedial action and improve its internal controls and compliance in the future.

Case:  In the matter of Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc., SEC #3594


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