por John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | August 21, 2019
“The value that should be on the order is what was agreed to with the Health Ministry — $16,700 per unit — and not what we sold them to Rizzi for ($9,991),” the alleged email is said to have instructed, a markup of 67 percent.
Masiero reached out to Caroline Visser, the chief of Philips’ global compliance at the time, who told him an investigation would be launched. Steve Klink of Philips's press office, told HCB News that the investigation did not "identify direct evidence of wrongdoing. However, we did conclude at the time that there was a need to further enhance Philips’ internal control processes in Brazil, which Philips did. Philips had no reason for further follow-up at the time. The dismissal of Mr. Masiero was not related to this matter."
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After being transferred to a logistics post within Philips in Sao Paulo — which Masiero saw as a demotion — he reached out to Rusckowski, and received a response from Clement Revetti Jr., the chief legal officer for Philips Healthcare, who told him to refrain from contacting Rusckowski about the matter again. He then messaged both again after learning the intermediary, Moses Trading American, was operated out of a private home on a golf course in Phoenix.
Upon voicing his concerns to Visser in person in Sao Paulo, Masiero was fired the same day "without cause." He claims to have been blacklisted, is unemployed, and recently moved to an unspecified country.
Invoices show that Philips continued to sell to Moses Trading American, which is run by a Peruvian named Oscar Moses. Prosecutors are investigating Moses regarding a string of allegedly fraudulent medical equipment deals involving his company in Brazil, though he has not been charged with a crime, reports Reuters.
Brazilian prosecutors claim that more than 20 companies may have been involved in the scheme as part of a "cartel" that paid bribes and charged the government inflated prices for equipment and parts.
Knudsen, who still works for Philips, is now on trial in Rio de Janeiro, along with Daurio Speranzini, who led the healthcare giant’s operations in Latin America for seven years before joining GE in 2011. He was arrested in connection to the case
last July. “We clarify that the allegations refer to a period in which the executive was leading a different company," said GE in a statement upon his arrest.
Klink said upon being notified in 2018 of its involvement in the investigation, the initial Philips' investigation was reopened, and that the company is "cooperating with the Brazilian authorities."