US Securities and Exchange Commission accepts $14m settlement for charges covering the last five years

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has fined New York based pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) over $14 million (£9 million) over alleged bribes made to Chinese state owned hospitals to boost prescription sales, violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

The SEC claims that between 2009 and 2014, BMS China provided bribes and gifts to Chinese healthcare providers, then faked receipts and inaccurately recorded the expenses as legitimate business spending in their books. Additionally, the SEC claims that BMS China failed to respond appropriately to accusations of wrongdoing from terminated employees and when wrongful payments were identified in internal audits.

The SEC has ordered BMS to pay back $11.4 million of profits attributed to the wrongdoing, plus $500,000 of interest and a civil penalty of $2.75 million. BMS has agreed to pay the settlement without admitting or denying the findings.