Beam Suntory Pays $8 Million to Resolve FCPA Violations

The SEC settled with Chicago-based spirits maker Beam Suntory Inc. for $8 million to resolve Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) charges that the company’s Indian subsidiary made improper payments to government employees “hidden” by inflated or fabricated invoices that were falsely recorded and then consolidated into Beam’s books and records.

The SEC’s order cited that Beam allegedly “used third-party sales promoters and distributors to make illicit payments to government employees” in order to “increase sales orders, process license and label registrations, and facilitate the distribution of Beam’s distilled spirit products.”  The SEC also stated that Beam did not maintain a proper system to manage internal accounting controls that would have prevented or flagged such illicit actions.

Although Beam neither admitted to nor denied these allegations, the SEC disclosed that Beam was cooperative and shared information in a timely fashion.


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