Argentina tells SEC it wants proof in bribery case

Associated Press + More

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina wants the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to name names and provide proof that Ralph Lauren Corp. bribed customs officials to allow its products into the country.

Tax chief Ricardo Echegary came out swinging Tuesday after U.S. federal prosecutors announced that the designer label closed its Argentine subsidiary, cooperated with authorities and paid a fine of nearly $1.6 million to settle allegations that it violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

He blamed private customs brokers and former Ralph Lauren executives, and suspended their ability to do business legally. But he also demanded that the S.E.C. identify which Argentine officials allegedly took bribes totaling nearly $600,000 over four years. His agency called it a lie, meant to cover up how Ralph Lauren emptied the subsidiary before abandoning Argentina.

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