WASHINGTON (CN) – Diageo, one of the world’s biggest booze producers, will pay $16.3 million to settle SEC charges that it bribed foreign officials to get tax and Customs breaks for its Johnnie Walker Scotch and other brands.
The SEC claimed that London-based Diageo paid more than $2.7 million in bribes to officials in India, South Korea and Thailand, over 6 years. The SEC filed the settled complaint alleging violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Diageo agreed to disgorge $11.3 million, mix in $2.1 million in interest, and stir it with a fine of $3 million. It also agreed to fire some people.
Among the beneficiaries of Diageo’s illegal largesse were military officers in South Korea, and government officials in all three countries.