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Johnson & Johnson discloses new FCPA investigation

Consumer health giant Johnson & Johnson said Friday it is “responding to inquiries” from the DOJ and SEC about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The new disclosure appeared in an SEC filing first posted by FCPA Tracker.

New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson said the Public Prosecution Service in Rio de Janeiro started an investigation in 2018 that involves both antitrust issues and allegations of “possible improper payments in the medical device industry.”

The company disclosed the Brazil investigation in October 2018. Friday’s filing was the first mention of the FCPA.

Johnson & Johnson said Brazil authorities inspected the offices of more than 30 companies, including its subsidiary, Johnson & Johnson do Brasil Indústria e Comércio de Produtos para Saúde Ltda.

In 2011, Johnson & Johnson paid more than $70 million to resolve criminal and civil FCPA offenses.

In that case, the DOJ charged J&J subsidiary DePuy Inc. with conspiracy and violating the FCPA by paying public-sector doctors in Greece. The SEC charged Johnson & Johnson in a civil complaint with FCPA anti-bribery, books and records, and internal controls violations.

The 2011 resolution also included enforcement in the UK. DePuy International Limited paid £4.8 million ($6.4 million) in a civil recovery action brought by the Serious Fraud Office.

In 2010, a former DePuy executive, Robert John Dougall, pleaded guilty in London to making £4.5 million ($5.8) in corrupt payments to Greek medical professionals within the state-controlled healthcare system. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

In Friday’s disclosure, Johnson & Johnson said: “We continue to actively respond to inquiries regarding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act from the United States Department of Justice and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.”

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