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Avon tables settlement over bribery charge, set to pay $135m

02-May-2014
Last updated the 02-May-2014 at 12:28 GMT

Avon Products says it has reached a preliminary deal with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities Commission that should put an end to years of investigation into its overseas practices.

The agreement means that Avon would pay a total of $68m to the Department of Justice and $67m to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which was confirmed in a regulatory filing.

The final leg of the bribery probe will also mean that a compliance monitor will be bought in to oversee the final leg of the probe and the payments, something that was agreed to by executives at Avon.

Avon aims to defer criminal prosecution

The agreement with the Department of Justice also means that Avon will be able to defer criminal prosecution for a total of three years, by which time charges could be legally dismissed.

To date the company has now spent a total of $135m on the internal investigation and resulting legal proceedings.

But on top of the financial expenses, the investigation has also continued to dog the company, putting its reputation at the executive level in the spotlight.

Ongoing investigation since 2008

Avon has been embroiled in the bribery investigation since 2008, when it had contacted the regulatory bodies to notify them of possible inappropriate actions with officials at the company that could violate the Foreign Currency Practices Act to bribe foreign officials.

The allegations mainly focus on the company’s activities in China but have also put the spotlight on its practices in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, India and Japan as well.

Back in January 2012 the on-going investigation led to the company announcing that its vice chairman Charles Cramb was fired following the ongoing investigations into bribery , in its SEC filing.

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