The U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division (DOJ) announced on March 26, that Biomet, Inc. has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with the government to, “resolve improper payments by the company and its subsidiaries in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).”
Biomet agreed to pay over $22 million to avoid prosecution and resolve charges brought by the DOJ under the FCPA.
According to the announcement, the matter is part of an investigation into bribery by medical device companies of health care providers and administrators employed by government institutions. Previously, Johnson & Johnson and Smith & Nephew Inc. have agreed to pay criminal penalties and entered into deferred prosecution agreements related to the ongoing investigation. The resolution was reached after the company agreed to enter into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement.
According to the criminal information filed on March 26 in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, Biomet, its subsidiaries, employees and agents, “made various improper payments from approximately 2000 to 2008 to publicly-employed health care providers in Argentina, Brazil and China to secure lucrative business with hospitals. During this time, more than $1.5 million in direct and indirect corrupt payments were made. In addition, at the end of each fiscal year, Biomet, its executives, employees and agents falsely recorded the payments on its books and records as ‘commissions,’ ‘royalties,’ ‘consulting fees’ and ‘scientific incentives’ to conceal the true nature of the payments.”