Ralph Lauren Will Pay $1.6 Million To Settle Bribery Allegations

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Clothing retailer Ralph Lauren will pay around $1.6 million to resolve allegations that one of its subsidiaries bribed Argentinean government officials in exchange for help with customs.

In exchange for a non-prosecution agreement, the company will pay $735,000 to the Securities and Exchange Commission and $882,000 to the Department of Justice.

Over the course of five years, the manager of Ralph Lauren's subsidiary paid bribes in order to get paperwork and avoid inspections. Once the company became aware of the violations, it self-reported the illegal activity, ABC News reported.

According to the SEC, the bribery took place during a time period when the company was without "meaningful anti-corruption compliance and control mechanisms over its Argentine subsidiary.”

Ralph Lauren has also agreed to keep reporting about its efforts to comply with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

A statement released by the company reads as follows:

"When these issues surfaced at our subsidiary in Argentina, we took immediate action to hire outside counsel and forensic specialists to conduct an internal investigation and reported the matter directly to both the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. There was no evidence that the improper activity in Argentina was known or authorized by anyone outside of Argentina or that similar practices were occurring at other foreign operations.”

It continues:

"The conduct at the Argentina subsidiary was wholly inconsistent with the culture of compliance and integrity that we have worked diligently to establish and, as our reaction demonstrates, such conduct is not and will not be tolerated at Ralph Lauren Corporation."

Sources: ABC News, Market Watch