The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that a Warsaw, Ind.-based medical device manufacturer has agreed to pay more than $30 million to resolve parallel SEC and Department of Justice investigations into the company’s repeat violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
Biomet first faced FCPA charges from the SEC and entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice in March 2012, agreeing to pay more than $22 million to settle both cases. As part of the SEC settlement, Biomet agreed to retain an independent compliance consultant to review its FCPA compliance program. After the settlement as Biomet was implementing recommendations from the independent monitor, the company learned about potential anti-bribery violations in Brazil and Mexico and notified the monitor and the SEC in 2013.
The SEC’s order finds that Biomet continued to interact and improperly record transactions with a known prohibited distributor in Brazil, and used a third-party customs broker to pay bribes to Mexican customs officials to facilitate the importation and smuggling of unregistered and mislabeled dental products.
“Biomet didn’t entirely learn its lesson the first time around as it continued to use a prohibited agent in Brazil and engaged in a new bribery scheme in Mexico,” said Kara Brockmeyer, Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s FCPA Unit.
Biomet, which has since been acquired by Zimmer Holdings and renamed Zimmer Biomet, agreed to pay more than $5.82 million in disgorgement plus $702,705 in interest and a $6.5 million penalty for a total of more than $13 million. Zimmer Biomet also agreed to retain an independent compliance monitor for a three-year period to review its FCPA policies. As part of the deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice, Zimmer Biomet agreed to pay a fine of more than $17.46 million.
The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Michelle L. Ramos, Robert Dodge, and Shahriar Masud. The case was supervised by Tracy L. Price. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.