Zimmer: Justice Dept.-SEC probe is over

March 1, 2013 by Brad Perriello

Zimmer Holdings says the SEC and the U.S. Justice Dept. closed a probe into possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by the orthopedic medical device company.

Zimmer Holdings

A federal probe into possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by Zimmer (NYSE:ZMH) is over, with both the SEC and the U.S. Justice Dept. telling the medical device company that they're closing the investigation.

The probe dates back to September 2007, when the securities regulator told Warsaw, Ind.- based Zimmer of the investigation. A month later the Justice Dept. requested a copy of all materials sent to the SEC, and by the 1st quarter of 2011 the SEC was issuing subpoenas for documents on Zimmer's Asia Pacific operations, according to a regulatory filing.

But in late 2012 representatives from both federal agencies told Zimmer executives that the probes were to be closed, according to the filing.

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"The DoJ and SEC formally notified us through letters of declination dated Dec. 19, 2012, and Feb. 1, 2013, respectively, that the agencies have closed their inquiries into this matter," Zimmer said. "While we are pleased with the government's declination decision in this matter, we are committed to continuing to enhance our global anti-corruption compliance program."

But Zimmer may have swapped frying pan for fire; a 3rd federal agency, the FDA, slapped it with a warning letter last October, citing issues a a Ponce, Puerto Rico manufacturing plant where it makes some of its hip implants.