Tyco International Ltd. (TYC:US)’s $13.1 million settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over records concealing payments to foreign officials was approved by a federal judge.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington today gave a final sign-off on the agreement U.S. regulators reached with Schaffhausen, Switzerland-based Tyco in September. Tyco voluntarily disclosed the conduct that led to the SEC action, Matthew Greiner, an attorney for the agency, said today during a hearing.
The judge said he expected that he wouldn’t see any “any issues or problems” in the annual reports Tyco must file with the court for the next two years on its compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
In overseeing an SEC case against International Business Machines Corp., Leon in December refused to approve a settlement without reporting requirements. He said there’s a growing awareness among federal judges of the need for more rigorous review of corporate settlement agreements.
In a parallel criminal proceeding in September, a Tyco unit, Tyco Valves & Controls Middle East Inc., agreed to pay $13.7 million as part of a guilty plea to conspiring to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA.
From 1999 to 2009, Tyco and some of its subsidiaries paid government officials to obtain and keep business with private and state-owned entities, falsely describing the payments in their corporate books as legitimate charges, according to a Justice Department statement.
Payments were paid to officials in Turkey, China, Thailand, France, Germany and Saudi Arabia, where recipients included employees of Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company, according to the complaint in the SEC case.
The case is SEC v. Tyco International Ltd., 12-cv-01583, U.S. District Court (Washington). The criminal case is U.S. v. Tyco, 12-cr-00418, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria).
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