Philips Pays $4.5 Million to Settle Poland Bribery Case With SEC

Royal Philips Electronics NV was fined $4.5 million by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission because of alleged bribery in Poland.

The company accepted to pay the fine imposed by the SEC to settle the matter, the Amsterdam-based company said in a e-mailed statement today.

The world’s largest maker of patient-monitoring systems said in 2011 that it fired three employees indicted in Poland in connection with alleged bribes paid to win medical-equipment sales to hospitals in 1999 to 2006. A court case against the former Philips workers and 16 hospital directors accused of paying or receiving a total of about 3 million zloty ($95,000) began in 2011 and hasn’t finished.

Philips said it informed the U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC of the results of an internal investigation into medical equipment sales after the indictments.

As part of the remedial measures, Philips terminated and disciplined several Philips Poland employees and installed new management at Philips Healthcare in Poland.

The U.S. anti-bribery statute bars corrupt payments to government officials anywhere for obtaining or retaining business, and it applies to some foreign companies that do business or are listed in the U.S. Philips said the Department of Justice informed the company in October 2011 it doesn’t intend to pursue the matter further.