(CN) - Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company will pay $16 million to settle charges it failed to prevent the bribing of African officials to boost tire sales, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced.
The agency charged that between 2007 and 2011, Goodyear's subsidiaries in Kenya and Angola paid more than $3.2 million in bribes to employees of government-owned and private companies, as well as local officials.
"Public companies must keep accurate accounting records, and Goodyear's lax compliance controls enabled a routine of corrupt payments by African subsidiaries that were hidden in their books," said Scott W. Friestad, Associate Director of the SEC's Enforcement Division, in a statement.
"This settlement ensures that Goodyear must forfeit all of the illicit profits from business obtained through bribes to foreign officials as well as employees at commercial companies in Angola and Kenya," Friestad said.
In agreeing to the settlement, the Akron, Ohio-based tire company neither admitted or denied the allegations. The payment represents a disgorgement of an alleged $14 million in illegally garnered profits and $2 million in interest.
In addition, Goodyear agreed to keep the agency apprised of its progress in strengthening internal anti-bribery programs over the next three years.
In a statement, Goodyear said the settlement fully resolves "all outstanding issues" stemming from an internal and SEC investigation.
Goodyear voluntarily reported its own findings after an internal investigation and assisted the SEC in its probe, the agency said.
Goodyear sold off its Kenyan subsidiary in 2013, and is in the process of selling off the Angolan business as well.
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