Biomet said last week that the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission issued a subpoena over alleged "improprieties" by Biomet employees in Brazil and Mexico, more than 2 years after the medical device company settled similar allegations with the SEC and the U.S. Justice Dept. for more than $22 million.
Warsaw, Ind.-based Biomet said July 3 that it "became aware of certain alleged improprieties regarding its operations in Brazil and Mexico" in October 2013 and retained lawyers and "other experts" to investigate.
"Based on the results of the investigation, Biomet terminated, suspended or otherwise disciplined certain of the employees and executives involved in these matters, and took certain other remedial measures," according to a regulatory filing.
In April, per the deferred prosecution agreement it inked in March 2012, Biomet disclosed the investigation to an independent compliance monitor and to the Justice Dept. and the SEC, Biomet said. That prompted the securities watchdog to issue a subpoena July 2, according to the filing, "requiring that Biomet produce certain documents relating to such matters."
The DoJ alleged that Biomet and its subsidiaries paid out more than $1.5 million in illegal kickbacks to employees of state-owned health services in Brazil and China. The 3-year DPA, which saw Biomet pay nearly $17.3 million to resolve the DoJ charges and another $5.6 million to settle civil claims with the SEC, required the company to set up the independent external compliance monitor to keep an eye on the company’s international sales practices, according to a press release. Biomet also pledged not to incur any more violations of the FCPA as part of the deal.
That means the Justice Dept. could rule that Biomet broke the DPA, according to the filing.
"If the DOJ determines that the conduct underlying these investigations constitutes a violation or breach of the DPA, the DOJ could, among other things, extend or revoke the DPA or prosecute Biomet and/or the involved employees and executives. Biomet continues to cooperate with the SEC and DOJ and expects that discussions with the SEC and the DOJ will continue," Biomet said.