UnitedHealth settles SEC charges, no fines involved

Following on the heels of an $895 million class-action suit settlement over stock-option back-dating, UnitedHealth Group has now agreed to settle charges that it violated a myriad of securities laws, though it managed to obtain the settlement without admitting or denying the allegations, or without paying a monetary penalty. UHG didn't pay anything out because it showed "extraordinary cooperation" in the investigation, the agency said. (For that kind of get-out-of-fines-free card, UHG execs must have done the limbo and offered up their first born.)

Former UHG general counsel David Lubben, who paid a $500,000 penalty in connection with the class-action settlement, wasn't so lucky. He will be paying a $575,000 penalty to the SEC, as well as consenting to an anti-fraud injunction and agreeing not to serve as an officer or director of a public company for five years.

The SEC had charged that UHG overstated its net income from 1994 through 2005 by almost $1.53 billion, according to its complaint. The agency didn't charge Lubben or UHG with fraud, as it did former CEO William McGuire in a previous case.

To learn more about the case:
- read this Modern Healthcare item

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