Litigation Release No. 19078 / February 14, 2005

Accounting and Auditing Enforcement
Release No. 2187 / February 14, 2005

Securities and Exchange Commission v. GE InVision, Inc. (formerly known as InVision Technologies, Inc.), United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Civil Action No. C-05-0660 MEJ


The Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission) charged InVision Technologies, Inc. (InVision), a Newark, California-based manufacturer of explosive detection machines used in airports, with authorizing improper payments to foreign government officials in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Simultaneous with the filing of the Commission's charges InVision agreed, without admitting or denying the charges, to disgorge $589,000 in profits from its FCPA violations plus prejudgment interest of approximately $28,700, and pay a $500,000 civil penalty. InVision was acquired in December 2004 by the General Electric Company, and now operates under the name GE InVision, Inc.; the conduct charged by the Commission occurred prior to the acquisition.

In both a federal court complaint and an administrative order, the Commission charged that from at least June 2002 through June 2004, InVision employees, sales agents and distributors pursued transactions to sell explosive detection machines to airports in China, the Philippines and Thailand. According to the Commission, in each of these transactions, InVision was aware of a high probability that its foreign sales agents or distributors made or offered to make improper payments to foreign government officials in order to obtain or retain business for InVision. Despite this, InVision allowed the agents or distributors to proceed on its behalf, in violation of the FCPA. The Commission also charged that InVision improperly accounted for certain payments to agents or distributors and failed to have an adequate system of internal controls to detect and prevent violations of the FCPA.

The Commission's administrative order finds that InVision violated the anti-bribery, books and records and internal controls provisions of the FCPA (respectively, Sections 30A, 13(b)(2)(A) and 13(b)(2)(B) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934). Without admitting or denying liability or the Commission's findings, InVision agreed to pay disgorgement and prejudgment interest, cease and desist from violations of the FCPA, and comply with its undertakings to retain an independent consultant to ensure that InVision adheres to a corporate compliance program designed to detect and prevent violations of the FCPA. In the district court action, which alleges the same violations, InVision agreed to settle the charges, without admitting or denying liability, and pay a civil penalty.

The Commission acknowledges the assistance of the Department of Justice in the Commission's investigation. The Commission's investigation is continuing.

SEC Complaint in this matter