On August 28, 2009, the SEC filed a settled enforcement action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against Oscar H. Meza, formerly the Director of Asia-Pacific Sales for Faro Technologies, Inc. (“Faro”), a software development and manufacturing company. The Commission charged Meza with violations of the anti-bribery, books and records, and internal control provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and with aiding and abetting Faro’s violations of the FCPA.
The Commission’s complaint alleges that Meza authorized a former employee of Faro’s subsidiary, Faro Shanghai Co., Ltd, (“Faro-China”), to make improper payments to employees of Chinese state-owned companies in order to obtain contracts. Additionally, the Commission’s complaint alleges that Meza instructed that account entries be altered in order to conceal the payments. The complaint alleges that Meza’s actions resulted in $444,492 being paid to state-owned companies from 2004 to 2006. This generated approximately $4.5 million in sales and approximately $1.4 million in net profit for Faro-China.
Without admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint, Meza has consented to the entry of final judgment that would permanently enjoin him from future violations of the Exchange Act and FCPA. Additionally, Meza must also pay a $30,000 civil penalty, as well as $26,707 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest. The Commission had previously instituted a settled administrative proceeding against Faro in connection with these events in June of 2008.