New York-based cosmetics giant Avon Products Inc.and its wholly owned subsidiary Avon Products (China) Co. Ltd. pleaded guilty to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by making and concealing illicit payments to Chinese government officials to secure business there. The company agreed to pay more than $135M in criminal and regulatory penalties to resolve the charges. According to the government, from at least 2004 through 2008, Avon and Avon China conspired to falsify Avon’s books and records by falsely describing the nature and purpose of certain Avon China transactions. Specifically, the companies sought to disguise more than $8 million worth of gifts, travel, meals and entertainment that Avon China executives gave to Chinese officials. The Avon entities will pay $68M in criminal penalties and another $67M in related FCPA matter it settled with the SEC. Whistleblower Insider
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