Two Chinese nationals have been accused of accepting a kickback payment when purchasing natural rubber for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
The two men were arrested by the FBI on Feb. 19, while attending business meetings at the tiremaker’s headquarters in Akron, Ohio. The men will face hearings in federal court on Feb. 25 in Youngstown.
According to Goodyear, the company received an anonymous tip of fraudulent activities to its Integrity Hotline. The company launched an internal investigation and began working with the FBI. So far Goodyear has identified a small group of company associates working in Singapore and Shanghai who devised a scheme to defraud Goodyear of millions of dollars through illegal kickbacks, the company told Tire Review.
“Goodyear has strict policies against this type of behavior and will take all necessary actions to protect its good name. We applaud the actions of the individual to report this criminal activity through our confidential ethics hotline. The individual’s actions demonstrate the critical role that our associates play in helping identify conduct that, if not reported, can jeopardize our reputation and business,” a Goodyear rep said.