The Chicago-based maker of Jim Beam has agreed to pay about $19.6 million to settle federal criminal charges alleging it paid bribes to Indian government officials to do business in the country and falsified the company’s books and records.
Beam Suntory, a distiller and beverage company headquartered in Merchandise Mart, admitted to wrongdoing as part of a deferred-prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors unsealed Tuesday in the Northern District of Illinois. The company had been charged with conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits the payment of bribes to foreign officials and requires companies to maintain adequate internal controls and accurate books and records.
Todd Bloomquist, Beam’s general counsel, said in a news release the company began cooperating with the U.S. government in 2012 and took corrective action, including temporarily suspending its India operations and terminating employees who violated the company’s code of business conduct and ethics.
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(Photo: NORIKO HAYASHI/BLOOMBERG NEWS)