Panasonic unit Panasonic Avionics Corp Investigated by U.S. for foreign bribes

Panasonic’s subsidiary, Panasonic Avionics Corp. which makes in-flight entertainment and communications systems for airlines, is being investigated by U.S. bribery authorities for possible bribes to foreign officials, according to the Wall Street Journal. If the information is corroborated, the bribes would violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, which bars companies from engaging in bribes of foreign officials or their agents to get work or sell products. A January 20 “retention” notice, viewed by reporters from the Journal requires recipients to hold on to documents concerning any benefits or gifts provided to or payment of anything of value by Panasonic or its lake Forest based subsidiary Panasonic Avionics Corp. A second notice dated March 25 said Panasonic had received a subpoena from government investigators earlier in the month which sought communications between Panasonic Avionics and its consultants third parties and middlemen. It is not yet clear where the bribery may have taken place. Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.