GE Pays $23.5M to Settle SEC Charges

The company agreed to pay a total of $23.5 million to settle allegations of kickbacks relating to the UN's Oil-for-Food Program in Iraq in 2000-2003.
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FAIRFIELD, Conn. (

TheStreet

) --

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

Tuesday agreed to pay a total of $23.5 million to settle an investigation by the

Securities and Exchange Commission

of activities related to the conduct of certain non-U.S. units with regard to the United Nations Oil-for-Food program in 2000-2003.

The settlement was announced simultaneously to the disclosure of the charges.

GE said the units involved in the SEC's allegations, which involved "keeping and maintaining accurate books and records and implementing sufficient controls to prevent inaccurate recording of transactions," were two of its own European units, as well as units of Amersham plc and Iconics Inc., which GE acquired in 2004 and 2005 respectively.

The $23.5 million sum breaks down to a $1 million fine, and the disgorgement of $22.5 million in profits plus interest from the contracts that the units allegedly secured rom the Iraqi government through improper payments.

In settling the allegations, GE didn't admit fault. The company said in a statement that it fully cooperated with the SEC's investigation and the conduct of its subsidiaries "did not meet our standards, and we believe that it is in the best interests of GE and its shareholders to resolve this matter now."

GE's stock was up 11 cents to $16.25 in late morning action.

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Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

General Electric Stock Rating Report (GE) Rating and Financial Analysis

Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for TheStreet.com Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.