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SEC investigates Avon for FCPA violations

Internal probe uncovered millions of dollars in questionable payments

After years of conducting its own investigation into potential Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, Avon Products said yesterday that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has now begun to look into the cosmetics company’s actions as well.

During its own three-year internal probe, Avon uncovered millions of dollars in questionable payments company employees made to foreign officials in several countries, including China, Brazil and Mexico. Then, yesterday in a regulatory filing, Avon said the SEC recently filed a “formal order of investigation” against it.

“The Company intends to cooperate fully with the SEC’s investigation,” Avon said in the filing.

According to the regulatory filing, the company also said the SEC will be investigating whether Avon improperly disclosed information to analysts and other members of the financial community in 2010 and 2011.

Avon CEO Andrea Jung declined to comment about the SEC’s investigation.

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Cathleen Flahardy

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