By Harold Emert

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - The FBI is investigating four giant multinationals--Johnson & Johnson, Siemens, General Electric and Philips--for the alleged payment of bribes to sell medical equipment in Brazil.

As a result of parallel investigations, the Brazilian Public Ministry suspects that the firms being investigated by American officials made illegal payments to public authorities to guarantee public health contracts during the last two decades.

Brazilian authorities say that more than twenty firms have participated in a cartel which paid bribes and charged inflated prices for medical equipment, including machines for magnetic resonance as well as . . .

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