April 30, 2018
The SEC announced that Japan-based Panasonic Corp.
will pay more than $143 million to resolve charges of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and accounting fraud violations involving its global avionics business. According to the SEC’s order, Panasonic’s U.S. subsidiary, Panasonic Avionics Corp. (PAC), a provider of in-flight entertainment and communication systems, offered a lucrative consulting position to a government official at a state-owned airline to induce the official to help PAC in obtaining and retaining business from the airline. At the time it orchestrated the bribery scheme, PAC was negotiating two agreements with the airline valued at more than $700 million. PAC ultimately retained the official and paid approximately $875,000 for a position that required little to no work, using an unrelated third-party vendor to conceal the payments. SEC