The agency alleges that from the last quarter of 2015 to the end of 2018, Kraft “engaged in various types of accounting misconduct” — including faking supplier contracts to get discounts that the company hadn’t earned — to ultimately make their financials look better to analysts and investors.
“Investors rely on public companies to be 100% truthful and accurate in their public statements, especially when it comes to their financials,” SEC division of enforcement director Gurbir S. Grewal said Friday in a written statement.
Kraft did not admit to or deny the allegations as part of the settlement.
“We have fully cooperated with the SEC throughout its investigation and took prompt and extensive remedial action and proactive steps to improve our internal policies, procedures, and internal controls over financial reporting,” Kraft Heinz global chief communications officer Kathy Krenger, told CNN Business in an emailed statement Friday morning.
The company also said the bogus transactions had a maximum effect of 1% on its earnings in any reporting period, and that “internal control weaknesses” it identified as part of its internal investigation in 2019 were fully remediated in 2020.