Pharmaceuticals /Medical Devices /Health

Corporate Headquarters

California, Sunnyvale, United States

Summary of Allegations:

Nationality of Foreign Officials: France, Germany, Spain, Turkey

Summary of Allegations:

Micrus, a privately-held company, admitted to paying approximately USD 105,000 in stock options, honorariums, and commissions to doctors at state-owned hospitals in France, Turkey, Spain and Germany between January 2002 and August 2004. These payments were not accurately recorded in the company's books and records. In addition, during the same period, Micrus paid USD 250,000 to doctors without obtaining necessary legal and regulatory approvals required by local law. Micrus made these payments through officers, employees, agents and salespeople in order to influence doctors to purchase embolic coils, which are used to treat neurovascular diseases. Micrus did not have an FCPA compliance program in place when the violations occurred.

Approximate Alleged Payments to Foreign Officials: USD 355,000

Business Advantage Allegedly Obtained: Unspecified

Enforcement Results

Agencies: United States: Department of Justice

Results: Compliance Monitor, Criminal Fine, Deferred Prosecution Agreement

Year Resolved: 2005

Compliance Monitor: Jan Handzlik

Ongoing: No


On 28 February 2005, Micrus and its Swiss subsidiary, Micrus S.A., entered into a two-year deferred prosecution agreement with DOJ under which it agreed to pay USD 450,000 in penalties. In addition, Micrus agreed to the following: (i) to continue its cooperation with the DOJ's investigation; (ii) to affirmatively disclose to the DOJ any activities that it believes may violate the FCPA; (iii) not to contradict the statement of facts included in the agreement; (iv) to adopt an FCPA compliance program and internal controls in order to prevent future violations; and (v) to retain an independent compliance monitor for a three-year period.

The DOJ noted that a deferred prosecution agreement was appropriate in this case because Micrus voluntarily disclosed the conduct, took prompt disciplinary action against the officers and employees involved in the conduct, cooperated with the DOJ's investigation, and had no prior criminal history.

  • Micrus Corporation ("Micrus")
  • Micrus S.A. (Micrus's Swiss subsidiary)
Details Of How Conduct Was Discovered

Discovery Method: Voluntary Disclosure


The conduct was discovered prior to the company's initial public offering. Micrus voluntarily disclosed the conduct to the DOJ.


Key Takeaways

Doctors at state-owned hospitals are considered foreign officials under the FCPA.

Prompt voluntary disclosure to, and cooperation with, the enforcement authorities may result in a deferred prosecution agreement rather than a criminal prosecution.