Drug maker Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) today announced that it has reached settlements with the US Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission related to improper payments (aka, bribes) paid by six of its foreign subsidiaries. Pfizer will pay a fine of $15 million to the Justice Department and enter a two-year deferred prosecution agreement. The company will also pay a total of about $45 million in disgorgement of profits and prejudgment interest.
The Justice Department “declined to bring a criminal action” against Pfizer and:
There is no allegation by either DOJ or SEC that anyone at Pfizer’s or Wyeth’s corporate headquarters knew of or approved the conduct at issue before Pfizer took appropriate action to investigate and report it. As soon as these local activities came to the attention of Pfizer’s corporate headquarters, they were voluntarily brought to the attention of the DOJ and SEC. Today’s settlements are focused solely on these local activities.
The settlement with the Justice Department covers improper conduct in Bulgaria, Croatia, Kazakhstan, and Russia. The SEC settlement covers the same four countries plus Italy, China, the Czech Republic, and Serbia.
Pfizer’s press release is available here.