Goodyear Tire to pay $16M to settle bribery charges

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. will pay financial regulators more than $16 million to settle charges that its subsidiary in Kenya bribed government and private sector employees to land tire sales.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Goodyear failed to prevent or detect more than $3.2 million in bribes that Kenya subsidiary employees generally paid in cash to employees in the Kenya Ports Authority, Armed Forces Canteen Organization, Nzoia Sugar Company, Kenyan Air Force, Ministry of Roads, Ministry of State for Defense, East African Portland Cement Co., and Telkom Kenya Ltd. 

Goodyear is accused of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and falsely recording the bribes as legitimate business expenses in the books and records of the subsidiaries, which were consolidated into Goodyear’s books and records.

“Public companies must keep accurate accounting records, and Goodyear’s lax compliance controls enabled a routine of corrupt payments by African subsidiaries that were hidden in their books,” Scott Friestad, associate director of the SEC Enforcement Division, said in a news release.

“This settlement ensures that Goodyear must forfeit all of the illicit profits from business obtained through bribes to foreign officials as well as employees at commercial companies in Angola and Kenya.”