On April 14, 2010, the U.K.'s Serious Fraud Office ("SFO") announced that a former DePuy executive pleaded guilty to making £4.5 million in corrupt payments to Greek medical professionals within the state-controlled healthcare system. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison.
Robert John Dougall was appointed Director of Marketing at DePuy in 1999. In 2000, he was given the responsibility for business development in Greece. The SFO alleges that from 2002 to 2005, Dougall was involved in corruptly obtaining and retaining business in the Greek orthopedic market by providing inducements/rewards to surgeons who would purchase DePuy products. DePuy allegedly used a local distributor to whom a commission was paid. DePuy and Dougall are alleged to have known that a portion of these commissions would be used to induce or reward surgeons to use DePuy products. Other corrupt payments were made through offshore agents and offshore accounts.
Dougall was first charged by the SFO in November 2009. The investigation into Dougall and DePuy's actions commenced following a referral from the US Department of Justice in October 2007. The SFO noted that Dougall is the first "co-operating defendant" in a major SFO corruption investigation. He is fully co-operating with the SFO's continued investigation into the roles and involvement of others.