Consumer lender sets aside $ 21.7 million for corruption settlement


World Acceptance, a consumer lender based in Greenville, SC, is in talks with the Securities and Exchange Commission over possible violations of US anti-corruption law in its operations in Mexico, which it has since sold.


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Global acceptance Corp.

will likely spend $ 21.7 million to resolve a corruption investigation by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said Thursday.

A Greenville, SC-based consumer lender World Acceptance said in reporting its fourth quarter results that the sum represented the estimated cost of resolving an SEC investigation into the company’s compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The investigation, which the company previously disclosed, was sparked by an anonymous letter it received regarding certain compliance issues. A spokeswoman said on Thursday that the company had fully cooperated with the government investigation.

After receiving the letter, World Acceptance retained the services of an outside lawyer and forensic accountants to investigate its operations in Mexico, the company said. The investigation focused on the legality of certain loan-related payments and the treatment of certain employee compensation under both the FCPA and local laws.

The company has been in talks with the SEC since at least January, when it offered to pay $ 8 million to resolve the regulator’s investigation.

World Acceptance said it contacted the SEC and the Justice Department in 2017 to inform them of its internal investigation. He said he had not yet received an offer of a settlement or resolution from the Justice Department.

World Acceptance reported net profit of $ 23.7 million in the fourth quarter ended March 31 after factoring in the estimated cost of resolving the SEC corruption investigation, which resulted in lower revenues of the company by 37.6%. The company sold its operations in Mexico in 2018.

Write to Dylan Tokar at [email protected]

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