FLIR Systems, Oregon based Defense contractor on Wednesday has agreed to pay $9.5 million to settle bribery charges filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The SEC announced the deal Wednesday. It says the thermal-imaging company based in Wilsonville, Oregon, earned more than $7 million in profits from sales influenced by improper travel and gifts for Middle Eastern government officials.
"FLIR's deficient financial controls failed to identify and stop the activities of employees who served as de facto travel agents for influential foreign officials to travel around the world on the company's dime," said Kara Brockmeyer, chief of the SEC enforcement division's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act unit.
The commission says two employees in FLIR's Dubai office gave expensive watches to officials with the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Interior. The company also arranged travel for Saudi officials, including a 20-night trip with stops in Beirut, Casablanca, Dubai, New York and Paris.
The SEC says FLIR reported the misconduct and cooperated with the investigation.
FLIR landed a multimillion-dollar contract to provide thermal binoculars to the Saudi government in November 2008. Two former FLIR employees linked to the bribery scandal were responsible for the contract. They also negotiated sales of FLIR's security cameras to the same government officials.
FLIR must report to the SEC on its efforts to comply with the corrupt practices law for two years besides paying $9.5 million.