Israeli Teva fined $22 million by Justice Ministry over bribes pharmaceuticals giant paid to Russian، Ukrainian and Mexican officials to promote its drugs in those countries; ministry fines Teva instead of taking it to court، citing prior US fine، its admission of wrongdoing and its precarious financial situation; Teva previously announced laying off 14،000 employees، 1،750 of them in Israel، as Ynet said.
Israel's Justice Ministry said Monday it had fined pharmaceutical giant Teva $22 million for bribing foreign officials in a settlement that spares the company a potential criminal trial.
The deal signed on Sunday comes a month after Teva announced plans to cut 14،000 jobs globally، triggering strikes in Israel and pressure from the government and the powerful Histadrut Labor Federation.
The fine was levied due to Teva paying bribes to foreign officials to curry favor in Russia، Ukraine and Mexico، the ministry said.
The Israeli generic drug firm had in December 2016 paid $519 million in the United States for similar charges in a separate settlement، known as a deferred prosecution agreement.
Israeli authorities had launched their own investigation "to examine the ramifications of the affair in Israel"، the ministry said.
Rather than pressing charges in court، the Justice Ministry decided to fine Teva—which admitted its role in the affair—75 million shekels ($22 million).
The settlement took into consideration the US fine، Teva's cooperation and organizational changes already made to prevent future such occurrences، it said.
Teva's current fiscal situation and global layoffs were factors in the Israeli decision to waive a trial and impose a relatively light fine.
"As a global firm، a criminal conviction now could cause it significant damages،" the Justice Ministry said.
Teva said that since learning of the original US investigation، the company "has implemented a robust compliance and enforcement program with very high standards designed to protect it and its subsidiaries from future violations."
"All employees that had been willfully involved in the wrongdoing are no longer employed by the company،" it said in a statement.