While Stryker has received recent accolades from many investors and analysts for its consistently positive financial performance, the company faces bribery charges. According to the Unites States Securities Exchange Commission, Stryker allegedly bribed government officials and physicians to win business in five separate countries. While these were civil charges, the company will have to pay $13.2 million to settle these allegations.
According to the SEC charges, Stryker attempted to hide $2.2 million in bribes in Romania, Poland, Mexico, Greece, and Argentina. These bribes were allegedly hidden by booking them as commissions, consulting services, travel costs, and charitable donations. Payments are alleged to have taken place between 2003 and 2008. These bribes were used to help sell the company's products in public healthcare facilities.
In one bribery example, Stryker is accused of paying for a Polish hospital director's trip to Aruba and New York City. During the trip, the hospital director and his wife received a six-night hotel stay and two live theater tickets compliments of Styrker.
For its part, Stryker is settling this case without denying or admitting to any of the alleged charges. As of now, the company has been unresponsive to reporters inquiring about the issue.
In the SEC case file, Stryker is accused of pulling in $7.5 million in profits stemming from the alleged bribery.