March 25, 2020

World Acceptance estimates $21.7 million to settle FCPA matters with the SEC

The World Acceptance Corporation, a consumer finance company based in South Carolina, recently provided updates related to ongoing US Department of Justice and US Securities and Exchange Commission investigations into possible violations of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  As previously reported, in 2017 World Acceptance voluntarily disclosed to the DOJ and the SEC that it was conducting an internal investigation into whistleblower allegations regarding potential FCPA violations, and thereafter cooperated with the resulting DOJ and SEC investigations.   According to World Acceptance, the investigations concern possible FCPA and local law violations by WAC de Mexico, World Acceptance’s former subsidiary in Mexico.  The investigations are focused on “certain payments related to loans, . . . the treatment of compensation matters for certain employees,” and the accuracy of the company’s books and records.  In particular, the company said the investigation was examining payments made to Mexican officials in connections with the loans, though it did not provide additional details. 
As discussed in this post, in January 2020, World Acceptance reserved $8 million in connection with a proposed resolution of the SEC investigation.  In its most recent SEC filing on March 13, 2020, the company disclosed that it had reserved $21.7 million for the potential settlement of the SEC investigation, although a final resolution has not yet been reached.  The filing also stated that the DOJ investigation is ongoing, and no settlement or resolution has been reached.

Form 8-K | Form 10-Q