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Sanofi fined €28 million in Germany, two former salesmen convicted

Two former employees of Sanofi-Aventis were convicted by a German court on bribery charges 10 months ago and the Paris-based pharma was fined €28 million ($39 million), according to a Reuters report last week.

Prosecutors hand’t released any news about the enforcement actions. But a report recently appeared by the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Reuters said.

The former Sanofi employees “made illicit payments to a consultancy advising one of the drugmaker’s clients between 2007 and 2010 to win more orders from the client, a pharmaceuticals dealer,” Reuters said.

The two former Sanofi employees were given suspended sentences by a court in the town of Winsen. They were convicted of commercial bribery in May 2013. Both “worked with Sanofi’s sales force and were not senior managers.”

The owner of the consulting firm is also being prosecuted, Reuters said.

“The bribery investigation has not come to light until now because the suspects were sentenced via a simplified legal process that under German law allows courts to try some crimes without a courtroom trial,” Reuters said.

Sanofi acquired Aventis in 2004, creating Sanofi-Aventis. In 2011, the merged companies changed their name to Sanofi.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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