SAO PAULO (Reuters) – General Electric Co’s chief executive for Latin America took part in a medical equipment price-fixing scheme while at the conglomerate, making it a member of an international health-care cartel, according to allegations in a document filed by federal prosecutors.
The executive, Daurio Speranzini Jr., was one of 20 people jailed last week in what prosecutors say was an arrangement among multinational companies Philips, Johnson & Johnson, and several others. They say the scheme involved bribing government health officials, in return for help in inflating prices for an array of medical gear such as magnetic resonance imaging machines and prosthetics.
Arrests - Allegations - Week - Examination - Reuters
While those arrests and the general allegations were widely reported last week, a close examination by Reuters of a 362-page court document filed with a Rio de Janeiro judge to gain approval to carry out arrest and search warrants shows that prosecutors also argue that GE was part of the group of companies that allegedly funneled bribes through a politically connected local medical supply firm.
That firm, Oscar Iskin, then passed varying percentages of the bribes to government officials to fix prices for medical equipment and other products, prosecutors assert.
Situation - Gravity - Investigation - Philips - Speranzini
“The situation takes on an even greater gravity given that even after the internal investigation (at Philips) that resulted in Speranzini’s departure from the company, he joined another company in the health sector (GE) in which he continued carrying out illicit practices relative to government contracts,” the document states.
The documents cited “robust evidence” that Speranzini “participated in the crimes of corruption, fraudulent bidding, and forming a criminal organization,” adding, “there is also evidence that he attempted to cover-up the crimes so that regulating bodies would not find out.”
Response - Questions - Reuters - GE - Spokeswoman
In response to questions from Reuters, GE spokeswoman Jennifer Erickson said Monday that GE is “currently not aware of any improper conduct involving GE...
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