Cardiac-device maker AGA Medical Corp., Plymouth, Minn., has agreed to pay a $2 million criminal penalty and submit to three years of oversight by an independent monitor in order to defer federal prosecution on foreign corruption and bribery charges, according to a U.S. Justice Department news release.
We discovered the possibility of these events in 2005, conducted an investigation and made the decision to turn all of that over to the Justice Department and make voluntary disclosure, said Ron Lund, general counsel for AGA. Were very, very glad to have it behind us and look forward to moving on.
A two-count indictment filed in 2005 charged AGA officials with making corrupt payments to doctors at Chinese government-owned hospitals who in turn directed the hospitals to purchase the companys products. AGA is also charged with bribing officials at Chinas State Intellectual Property Office in order to have patents approved. Under the terms of the deal, AGA agreed to enhance its compliance policies and procedures and to engage an independent corporate monitor. The Justice Department will dismiss the criminal charges in 2011 if AGA abides by the agreement. -- by Shawn Rhea