The U. S. government relies on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) to stop corporations from attempting to win or retain business abroad by making bribe payments to or bestowing gifts of luxury travel upon foreign government officials or their family members. Aimed at the problem of foreign bribery, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 authorizes substantial financial rewards to insider informants who blow the whistle on FCPA violations.
Multinational Company Bruker Corp. to Pay $2.4 Million to Resolve Foreign Bribery Investigation
A global maker of scientific instruments has been charged by the SEC with FCPA violations in China. Bruker Corporation, based in Massachusetts, allegedly provided Chinese government officials with cash payments and leisure travel in an effort to obtain business in China. Bruker has consented to pay $2.4 million to resolve the foreign bribery charges.
One of the company’s offices in China spent more than $111,000 in payments to Chinese government officials on allegedly phony collaboration agreements. Chinese state-owned entities were to conduct research on Bruker products or use the products in demonstration labs, but no specific work was identified in the agreements and no work was performed. Some of the agreements were executed with the government official rather than the state-run entity and in some cases the official was paid directly.
The gifts of leisure travel often came in conjunction with Bruker-sponsored business trips for Chinese decision-makers concerning the purchase of Bruker products. Other times the free vacations were unencumbered by any business purpose. The Chinese officials’ vacation destinations included New York, Los Angeles, Paris and Frankfurt as well as many other locations.
In total, Bruker made $230,000 in bribes to Chinese government officials that were recorded on the books as legitimate marketing and business expenses. As a result of the improper payments, Bruker realized $1.7 million in profits on its sales contracts with the targeted state-owned entities in China.
Whistleblowers Notify Government about FCPA Violations
While Waters & Kraus is not handling this particular FCPA case, we are representing whistleblowers in similar matters involving foreign bribery violations. If you have comparable claims against your employer or another business, contact us or call our qui tam attorneys at 855.784.0268. Our experienced lawyers, such as Loren Jacobson and Caitlyn Silhan in the firm’s Texas office, are working to level the playing field in international business operations.
Contact us by email or call 855.784.0268 to learn more about our practice and how we can collaborate with the government to redress illegal foreign bribery schemes.