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Eli Lilly board under investigation

Eli Lilly's board is under investigation in the US for alleged breaches of fiduciary duties in connection with allegations violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

The board of directors and officers of Eli Lilly & Co are under investigation in the US for alleged breaches of fiduciary duties in connection with allegations violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

The investigation by Faruqi & Faruqi, a New York securities firm, focuses on possible breaches of 'fiduciary duties' in connection with allegations that the company may have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits US publicly traded companies from promising, offering, or giving anything of value to foreign officials with the intent of influencing the officials for the purpose of helping the company obtain or retain business or gain any improper advantage.

The FCPA also imposes specific recordkeeping and internal controls requirements on US publicly traded companies.

The company recently said that it is in advanced talks with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to resolve a probe. It was notified in 2003 that the SEC was investigating whether the Polish divisions of certain drug makers, including Eli Lilly, had violated the FCPA. The probe eventually widened to include Eli Lilly's activities in other countries.

The SEC has issued subpoenas requesting documents, and the US Department of Justice also has asked Eli Lilly to provide information about activities in certain countries.

Lilly was unavailable to comment at the time of writing.

8th June 2011

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