Diageo paying $16.4M to settle SEC bribery charges
Thursday, July 28, 2011
WASHINGTON (AP) — Diageo PLC, the world’s biggest liquor producer, has agreed to pay about $16.4 million to settle civil allegations of bribing government officials in India, Thailand and South Korea to get sales and tax benefits for its Johnnie Walker and Windsor Scotch whiskeys and other brands.
The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday announced the settlement with London-based Diageo. The SEC had accused the company of paying more than $2.7 million in bribes through subsidiaries in the three countries from 2003 to 2009. Diageo neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing but agreed to refrain from future violations.
The company is paying $13.3 million in restitution and interest, and a $3 million fine. Diageo, whose brands also include Smirnoff vodka and Guinness stout, also improved its compliance with anti-bribery laws, the SEC said.
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