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On September 28, the SEC announced that diagnostic test manufacturer Alere Inc. had settled a variety of FCPA books and records and internal control allegations stemming from its sales practices in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, including the failure to improperly characterize and record payments made to government officials in Columbia and India. In concluding the more than two year investigation, Alere agreed to pay a civil monetary penalty of $9.2 million, and disgorgement and interest of approximately $3.8 million. As part of the settlement agreement, Alere did not admit or deny the SEC’s findings of fact. As discussed in a previous FCPA Scorecard post, the DOJ announced in March 2016 that it is also investigating the company’s foreign sales practices. That investigation is ongoing.
Ongoing FCPA investigations can of course have costly business implications beyond reputational damage; the ongoing FCPA investigation of Alere appears to have taken a toll, likely playing a role in the reduced price paid by Abbott Laboratories in April 2017 to acquire Alere.
On March 15, 2016, diagnostic test manufacturer Alere Inc. disclosed that the DOJ had requested documents related to the companys sales practices in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and other matters related to the FCPA. The DOJs subpoena sought information about Aleres dealings with third parties, including government officials. The SEC is also investigating the companys revenue recognition practices in Africa and China, but the company did not disclose whether the two investigations are linked. Alere previously entered into to an agreement to be acquired by Abbott Laboratories, and the company said that it still expects the transaction to be completed by the end of 2016.
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