Background

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Sept. 12 that a U.S. company will pay $13.9 million to resolve charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by making illicit payments. This amount includes $9.07 in disgorgement, a $4 million penalty, and nearly $1 million in interest.

The alleged violations include the following.

- One of the company’s subsidiaries made unlawful payments to Azerbaijani officials to facilitate sales of the subsidiary’s products and as part of a kickback scheme to sell products in China.

- The company, through a joint venture, made payments to a Chinese sales agent in a bid to obtain confidential information from a Chinese official that would help the company win sales to a Chinese state-owned company.

- The company improperly provided trips and gifts to foreign officials in China, Kuwait, South Korea, Pakistan, Thailand, and Indonesia to obtain business.

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