(Adds further details on SEC settlement, comment from Alere)
By Nate Raymond
BOSTON, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Alere Inc has agreed to pay more than $13 million to resolve charges the diagnostic testing firm committed accounting fraud and made improper payments to foreign officials, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Thursday.
The settlement with Alere resolved an investigation that began in 2015 before Abbott Laboratories agreed to buy the Waltham, Massachusetts-based company in a $5.3 billion deal expected to close later this year.
Alere, which manufactures and sells diagnostic tests, did not admit wrongdoing as part of the settlement. The company said it cooperated with the SEC and was pleased to resolve the investigation.
The SEC said Alere misstated its reported revenue from 2011 to 2016 resulting from a South Korean unit prematurely recording sales for products as well as improper revenue recognition practices in various foreign subsidiaries.
The commission noted that Alere on three different occasions since May 2015 revised or restated its financial statements for fiscal years and quarters dating from 2013 to 2016.
The SEC said Alere’s subsidiaries in Colombia and India also indirectly made improper payments and offers to foreign officials to increase sales of its products, allowing the company to earn $3.3 million in profits.
Alere continues to face a separate U.S. Justice Department investigation into potential violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in Africa, Asia and Latin America. (Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Paul Simao)