The Securities and Exchange Commission said Monday it has resolved an FCPA enforcement action against Germany-based insurance and asset management company Allianz SE.
The company paid the SEC a total of $12.4 million to settle an out-of-court administrative proceeding. The SEC charged Allianz with violations of the books and records and internal controls provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in connection with improper payments to government officials in Indonesia.
Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Allianz agreed to disgorge $5.3 million, and pay a penalty of $5.3 million, with prejudgment interest of $1.8 million.
The SEC said it ‘uncovered 295 insurance contracts on large government projects that were obtained or retained by improper payments of $650,626 by Allianz’s subsidiary in Indonesia to employees of state-owned entities.’
Allianz made $5.3 million in profits through the bribery.
The payments were passed to government officials through agents from ‘special purpose’ accounts without proper invoicing, the SEC said.
The bribery occurred from 2001 to 2008. During that time, Allianz was an ‘issuer’ subject to the FCPA, with shares and bonds traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Allianz discovered the bribery as early as 2005 through an internal audit at its subsidiary in Indonesia, the SEC said. But the illegal payments continued for three more years despite the audit findings.
A whistleblower complaint in March 2009 caused Allianz to launch an internal investigation by outside counsel of the payment practices in Indonesia, the SEC said. The company then began cooperating with the SEC and took remedial action.
The DOJ hasn’t announced any enforcement action against Allianz.
The SEC’s December 17, 2012 news release is here.
SEC Release No. 68448 and Administrative Proceeding File No. 3-15132 (both dated December 17, 2012) In the Matter of Allianz SE can be downloaded in pdf here.