Johnson & Johnson Reaches Settlement of Charges with US and UK Enforcement Agencies
By The Global Compliance and Disputes Practice
On April 8, 2011, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with the Department of Justice (the DOJ) and a consent decree (the Consent Decree) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC and, collectively, the U.S. Government) resolving criminal and civil liabilities for alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the FCPA) by wholly owned subsidiaries in Greece, Poland and Romania, as well as allegations relating to concerns with regard to the UN Oil for Food Program (the OFFP). Simultaneously, J&J announced that it had reached a corresponding agreement with the United Kingdom Serious Fraud Office (the SFO) (collectively the DPA, Consent Decree and SFO resolution are referred to herein as Settlements).
In the DPA, the U.S. Government cited: 1) J&Js voluntary disclosure, 2) its thorough internal investigation; 3) its cooperation with the U.S. Government; and 4) the substantial remedial measures undertaken by the company early on to improve its anticorruption compliance program as reasons for substantially reducing the monetary penalties assessed against the company, which were twenty-five percent below the minimum range as set out in the DPA from the U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
This Alert outlines some of the unique components of the J&J Settlements, including the close coordination between prosecutorial bodies in the United States and the United Kingdom, the additional compliance undertakings J&J has committed to implement, and self-monitoring by J&J during the three-year term of the DPA.