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US v. RAE Systems Inc.

 
:
RAE Systems Inc.
:
DOJ Criminal
:
December 10, 2010
:
US v. RAE Systems Inc.
:
Manufacturing-Other/Multi
:
China
:
2004; 2005; 2006; 2007; 2008
:
Employees of Chinese state-owned entities including employees of the Dagang Oil Field
:
RAE Systems Inc. ("RAE") is a Delaware corporation based in San Jose, California that develops and manufactures rapidly-deployable, multi-sensor chemical and radiation detection monitors and networks. Between 2005 and 2008 it operated in China through two second-tier subsidiaries organized as joint-ventures: RAE-KLH (Beijing) Co., Limited ("RAE-KLH"), which is 96% owned by RAE, and RAE Coal Mine Safety Instruments (Fushun) Co., Ltd. ("RAE-Fushun"), whish is 70% owned by RAE.

In 2004, RAE carried out due diligence prior to the formation of the RAE-KLH joint-venture, through which it uncovered evidence of bribery. According to an RAE due diligence report, the KLH sales structure lacked internal controls, allowing sales people to pay cash commissions that were in turn reported in a way that distorted the company's financial statements. Another due diligence report predicted that it would "be a challenge to change [KLH's] business operational mode" that relied on a "commission/incentive structure [of] under table greasing to get deals to be more transparent." The report concluded that correcting the sales practices through an effective compliance program could hurt sales.

RAE did not perform due diligence prior to entering the RAE-Fushun joint-venture in 2006, although multiple factors indicated due diligence concerning corruption risks was warranted.

After acquiring its interest in KLH in 2004, RAE instructed RAE-KLH personnel to stop paying bribes, but it did not institute sufficient internal controls or discontinue the system of cash-advance reimbursements which facilitated the bribery practices into 2008 at both RAE-KLH and RAE-Fushun. The joint-ventures improperly recorded cash advances connected to bribes as business fees and travel and entertainment expenses, false information that was integrated into RAE's consolidated financials.

In addition to cash bribes, both companies provided luxury gifts to employees of state owned entities, such as notebook computers, jade, fur coats, appliances, suits, and expensive liquor. In 2006 and 2007, RAE-KLH made two improper payments totaling nearly $350,000 to a consultant who funneled money to employees of the state-owned Dagang Oil Field and other government officials in exchange for business contracts.
:
Anti-bribery (Domestic Concern), Anti-bribery (Issuer), Books and records (Issuer), Internal controls (Issuer)
:
Fine, Non-prosecution Agreement
:
RAE will pay a monetary penalty of $1,700,000; strengthen its compliance, book keeping, and internal control standards and procedures; and report periodically to the DOJ on its compliance with the agreement over the course of its three-year term.
:
1,700,000
:
0
:
Domestic Concern, Issuer
:
Shareholder
:
U.S.
:
United States
:
Contract Procurement/Retention
:
Not stated.
:
Cash, Gifts
:
Sales Agent/Consultant, Subsidiary Company
:
Not stated.
:
China
:
Yes
:
Yes