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Kalamazoo's Stryker Corporation fined for overseas bribery


KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- The Kalamazoo based Stryker Corporation has agreed to pay a 13.2-million dollar fine for bribing doctors and government officials in Romania, Mexico, Greece, Argentina, and Poland. The purpose was to get them to buy their products and their products only.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission says the company, which manufactures medical equipment and prosthetics, recorded the pay-offs as charitable donations, travel costs, consulting services and commissions to mask their real purpose.

In one instance Stryker flew the director of a public hospital in Poland for a 6 day stay in a New York Hotel with tickets to two Broadway shows. The reason stated on a form for the expenditure? " To strengthen [the public doctor's] conviction that Stryker products are the best solution for her hospital."

Stryker isn’t commenting, but the SEC filing includes claims from the company that they have adopted policies that would ban such practices in the future.