WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Connecticut company has agreed to a $13.9 million settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over charges the company made illicit payments relating to its elevator and aircraft engine businesses.
According the SEC, Otis Elevator Co., a subsidiary of United Technologies, violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) through unlawful payments to officials in Azerbaijani relating to the sale of elevator equipment for public housing in Baku, which was also part of a kickback scheme to sell elevators in China. The company also made payments to a Chinese sales agent so it could get inside information from a Chinese official on a bid for engine sales to a Chinese state-owned airline, the SEC said.
“U.S. companies with global operations must implement policies and procedures that prevent bribery and motivate employees to perform ethically,” SEC Enforcement Division’s FCPA unit deputy chief Tracy Price said in a statement. “Issuers with weak internal accounting controls open the door to corruption and other financial misconduct.”
As part of the settlement, United Technologies will pay disgorgement of about $9.07 million, plus interest of $919,392 as well as a $4 million penalty, according to the SEC.