The bribes, totaling about $1.3 million during the four-year period, generally were paid in cash and falsely recorded as expenses for promotional products, according to the SEC.
The bribe system apparently began before Goodyear acquired Treadsetters, the agency said. “Goodyear did not detect or prevent these improper payments because it failed to conduct adequate due diligence when it acquired Treadsetters, and failed to implement adequate FCPA compliance training and controls after the acquisition,” the order said.
TrenTyre (Pty) Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Goodyear, was incorporated in Angola in 2007, according to the SEC, which said the company's primary business is selling new tires for mining equipment.
Between 2007 and 2011, Trentyre paid approximately $1.4 million in bribes to government-owned or -affiliated entities in Angola, and more than $200.000 in bribes to private firms in the country, the SEC said.
“The bribery scheme was put in place by Trentyre's former general manager,” the agency said. “To hide the scheme and generate funds for the improper payments, Trentyre falsely marked up the costs of its tires by adding to its invoice price phony freight and customs clearing costs.”
On its website, TrenTyre describes itself as “one of the largest tire service providers in Southern Africa.” Established in 1948, the company said it “sells/manufactures new multi-brand tires, retreaded tires, wheels and allied services to cater for its customer needs.