Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Quad/Graphics Pays $9.9 Million to Settle U.S. Bribery, Sanctions Charges

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Quad/Graphics Inc, a Wisconsin marketing and printing services company, will pay $9.9 million to settle U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charges it conducted bribery schemes in Peru and China and violated U.S. sanctions by dealing with a Cuban state-owned telecommunications company.

The SEC said on Thursday that Quad/Graphics will pay a $2 million civil fine plus about $7.9 million in disgorgement and interest to resolve charges it violated the federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act between 2010 and 2016.

Quad/Graphics will also report to the SEC for one year about its progress in improving its compliance controls. The Sussex, Wisconsin-based company did not admit or deny wrongdoing.

In a statement, Quad/Graphics said it had voluntarily told authorities about the alleged misconduct, which it described as “inconsistent” with its values and policies and limited to a few former employees. It also said the U.S. Department of Justice decided not to pursue its own charges.

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According to the SEC, Quad/Graphics’ Peruvian unit paid bribes to government officials to win business and funneled bribes to influence judges involved in a company tax dispute there, while its Chinese unit used sham sales agents to pay bribes to employees of customers to win business in China.

The regulator also said the Peruvian unit engaged in illegal commercial transactions with Cuba’s state-controlled Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba SA, and violated the FCPA by creating false records to conceal these transactions.

Quad/Graphics has said annual sales totaled $95 million to $135 million at the Peruvian unit before the conduct was discovered, while the China operations had annual sales of $2 million to $3 million.

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