SEC announces US$45M settlement with large British Columbia pubco, CPA, CEO and CFO for securities violations

By Christine Duhaime | July 31st, 2020

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC“) today announced that it reached a settlement with a British Columbia company and some former key executives, in respect of charges of improper revenue recognition and the issuance of misleading public securities law disclosures in its securities filings as well as earnings presentations.

The issuer, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc., now known as Bausch Health Companies Inc. (“Bausch“), and a former CPA at the company and its former CEO and CFO all agreed to pay penalties to the SEC as part of a settlement agreement for US$45 million.

Bausch is a large multinational company, now headquartered in the province of Quebec, known by consumers for its contact lenses (Bausch & Lomb). It called the SEC investigation a “legacy” one, meaning it happened on someone else’s watch.

The former CPA, CEO and CFO are respectively, Tanya Carro, J. Michael Pearson and Howard Schiller. The SEC said that corporate executives must be accountable to investors for accurate and complete disclosure.

Perhaps the most surprising news of all is that Bausch, a multi-billion dollar company, is actually a British Columbia corporate entity. And one of the largest pharmaceutical corporations in the world.

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