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Alere Settles With SEC for $13M

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Alere today announced it will pay $13 million to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, ending an investigation by the agency into certain accounting practices by the company's foreign subsidiaries.

In addition to the $13 million settlement, Alere also consented to an administrative cease-and-desist order without admitting or denying the findings of an investigation by the SEC.

The agency's investigation found, among other things, that between 2011 and 2013, Alere's subsidiary in Colombia improperly characterized payments to an official in that country in the company's books and records, according to an SEC document. An Alere subsidiary in India also improperly recorded certain payments made by a distributor in its books and records.

Alere further did not "devise and maintain a sufficient system of internal accounting controls," the SEC said. It added that Alere made numerous restatements to its financial statements between 2011 and 2016, resulting from "intentional early reporting of revenue by Alere's South Korean subsidiary, Standard Diagnostics, and improper revenue recognition practices" by Alere subsidiaries in South Korea, Israel, South Africa, Ireland, China, and other locations.

"We have cooperated with the SEC and we are pleased to fully resolve this matter," Alere said in a statement.

The company is currently in the process of being acquired by Abbott for $5.3 billion