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Biomet to Pay $22.9 Million to Settle U.S. Bribery Claims

March 26 (Bloomberg) -- Biomet Inc., a closely held maker of medical devices, agreed to pay $22.9 million to settle U.S. accusations that it bribed foreign doctors to win business, the government said.

Biomet, based in Warsaw, Indiana, will pay about $17.3 million in criminal fines to the U.S. Justice Department and about $5.6 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the SEC said today in a statement.

The SEC sued Biomet under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act today in federal court in Washington. The regulator alleged the company and four of its subsidiaries from 2000 to 2008 paid bribes to doctors in Argentina, Brazil and China. The payments were falsely recorded on the company’s books as “commissions,” “royalties” and “scientific incentives,” according to the Justice Department.

Biomet cooperated with the government probes and conducted its own internal investigation, the company said in an e-mailed statement.

“Moving forward, we intend to continue to adhere to our enhanced global compliance procedures, and to promote the company’s commitment to the highest ethical standards in all the markets that we serve,” Jeffrey Binder, Biomet’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The case is U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Biomet Inc., 12-00454, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Washington at tschoenberg@bloomberg.net; Joshua Gallu in Washington at jgallu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net; Maura Reynolds at mreynolds34@bloomberg.net

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