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WASHINGTON, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Chilean-based chemical and mining company Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA (SQM) has agreed to pay more than $30 million to resolve parallel civil and criminal cases that found it violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Friday.
SQM made nearly $15 million in improper payments to Chilean political figures and others connected to them over a seven-year period, the commission said in a statement. SQM agreed to pay a $15 million penalty to settle the SEC's charges and a $15.5 million penalty as part of a deferred prosecution agreement announced in a separate statement on Friday by the U.S. Department of Justice. (Reporting by Eric Walsh; Editing by Eric Beech)