Argentina questions Ralph Lauren bribery case

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Argentina questions Ralph Lauren bribery case

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Argentina’s tax chief is demanding that US authorities provide proof that a subsidiary of Ralph Lauren bribed customs officials to allow its products into Argentina between 2005 and 2009.

That comes after the clothing retailer agreed to pay 1.23 million euros in the US to settle a criminal and civil investigation into the allegations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a law that prohibits bribes to officials of foreign governments.

The head of Argentina’s Federal Public Revenue Administration, Ricardo Echegaray, is accusing Ralph Lauren of making up the bribery story as an excuse for the fact that it wanted to stop selling in Argentina.

The company pulled out in 2010 after it says it discovered the illegal practices by its subsidiary and reported the matter to the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Echegary blamed private customs brokers and former Ralph Lauren executives for any wrongdoing.