On February 16, Massachusetts-based software company PTC Inc. paid $28 million to settle Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement actions with both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
PTC’s two China units – based in Shanghai and Hong Kong – were alleged to have paid for employees of various Chinese state-owned enterprises (considered to be “foreign officials” for FCPA purposes) to travel to the United States. While the travel was supposed to be for training at PTC headquarters, Chinese officials were reportedly treated to recreational trips to places like New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Hawaii.
PTC entered into a non-prosecution agreement and paid a $14.5 million criminal penalty to resolve the DOJ investigation, and reached a civil settlement with the SEC by disgorging $11.8 million and paying nearly $1.8 million in prejudgment interest.
Notably, 2016’s second enforcement action also involved a software company, like the year’s first action – against software maker SAP SE. With a total payment of $28 million, however, the PTC action is significantly larger than SAP’s $3.9 million disgorgement to the SEC.
Also sending a notable message to similarly situated companies is the lack of voluntary disclosure or full cooperation credit granted to PTC by DOJ. While PTC did self-disclose the apparent violations, DOJ found that PTC failed to disclose relevant facts that it had learned during a prior internal investigation in its initial disclosure. PTC’s eventual full disclosure was not sufficient for the agency to provide an offset to its penalty.