Clothing retailer Ralph Lauren will pay $1.6 million to avoid prosecution on civil and criminal accusations that the company bribed Argentinian customs officials to gain access into the country.
Reuters reported on Monday that the company agreed to pay a $882,000 penalty to the Department of Justice and forfeit more than $730,000 in illegal payments and interest to the Securities and Exchange Commission after an investigation revealed that Ralph Lauren’s Argentinian subsidiary paid local officials to illegally clear Ralph Lauren merchandise or bypass customs inspections between 2004 and 2009.
“During these five years, RLC did not have an anti-corruption program and did not provide any anti-corruption training or oversight with respect to its subsidiary in Argentina,” the department said in a release. The company was allowed to pay the fine after cooperating with investigators.
“We investigated, reported, cooperated with authorities, conducted a worldwide assessment and implemented a series of remedial measures,” Ralph Lauren attorney Tom Hanusik told Bloomberg News. “The unprecedented use of non-prosecution agreements by both agencies reflects that.”
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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