March 1, 2021

Medical device maker discloses investigation by the SEC and Indian authorities

On March 1, 2021, Smith & Nephew plc, a Hertfordshire, England-based manufacturer of medical devices, disclosed in a securities filing that it was investigating allegations of potential violations of anti-corruption laws in India and responding to related requests for information from the US Securities and Exchange Commission.  The Company stated that it was not possible to predict the outcome of these investigations, including whether they could result in any liability to the Company.

In February 2012, Smith & Nephew entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the US Department of Justice to resolve allegations that it had violated the anti-bribery and accounting provisions of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  According to the DPA, Smith & Nephew paid approximately $9.4 million to shell companies owned by a Greek distributor, which—with the knowledge of Smith & Nephew executives and employees—then used these funds to pay Greek state-employed healthcare professionals to induce the purchase of Smith & Nephew products.  Under the terms of the DPA, the Company agreed to pay a criminal penalty of $16.8 million, make significant improvements to its compliance program, and hire a compliance monitor for 18 months.  Smith & Nephew also entered into a consent agreement with the SEC for the same misconduct, under which the Company paid $5.4 million in disgorgement and pre-judgment interest.

Form 20-F