The federal securities watchdog said the orthopedics giant broke the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by failing to institute the required fail-safes in its book-keeping procedures for its businesses in India, China and Kuwait.
The Kalamazoo, Mich.-based company agreed in 2013 to pay $13.2 million to settle FCPA charges that its subsidiaries in Argentina, Greece, Mexico, Poland, and Romania made some $2 million in illicit payments “that were incorrectly described as legitimate expenses in the company’s books and records,” the SEC said at the time, resulting in $7.5 million in illicit profits.
Today the SEC said Stryker agreed to settle the latest charges with a $7.8 million fine after the agency found that Stryker’s internal accounting controls “were not sufficient to detect the risk of improper payments” in India, China and Kuwait and that the company’s India business “failed to maintain complete and accurate books and records.”
“Stryker’s failures to implement sufficient internal accounting controls and keep accurate books and records are unacceptable, especially as this is not the first time the company has been charged for these types of violations,” Marc Berger, director of the SEC’s New York office, said in prepared remarks. “The penalty ordered along with the imposition of a compliance consultant are appropriate and necessary.”
The settlement requires Stryker to hire an independent compliance consultant to review and evaluate its internal controls, record-keeping, and anti-corruption policies and procedures, the SEC said.