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Ralph Lauren Admits to Bribery, Agrees to $1.6M Settlement

Gifts to foreign officials includes money, goods

ralph_lauren_185Retail company Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) has agreed to pay a $1.6 million settlement concerning charges of bribery.

The company has admitted to the charges — which centered on gifts of money, as well as perfume, clothing and handbags — in a settlement reached with federal authorities, The New York Times reports.

The 2005-09 bribes violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The FCPA puts controls on the ways that American companies can pay or give gifts to members of foreign governments in return for business set-asides or other advantages.

The Securities and Exchange Commission praised Ralph Lauren for its behavior in the matter. When an internal audit revealed the payments and gifts, the company quickly reported it to the SEC and the Department of Justice.

“When you do all the right things in terms of investigating, self-reporting, cooperating and taking appropriate remedial measures, both the SEC and Department of Justice are willing to reward that behavior,” said a lawyer for Ralph Lauren.

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