Walgreens Boots to pay $34.5 million penalty in SEC settlement

Walgreens Boots Alliance said Friday it has agreed to pay $34.5 million to settle a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation.

Walgreens Boots Alliance said Friday it has agreed to pay $34.5 million to settle a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation. According to the SEC, it charged Gregory Wasson and Wade Miquelon, the company's former CEO and chief financial officer, with misleading investors about whether the company would reach a financial target 2 years ago. Walgreens and the two former executives did not admit or deny the SEC findings, but agreed to settle the matter by paying the fines. The SEC noted in its charges that Walgreens said in 2012 that after it merged with Alliance Boots GmbH, it would have between $9 billion and $9.5 billion in adjusted operating income in fiscal year 2016—an estimate the company and the two executives continued to reaffirm even after the company's internal forecasts indicated it was increasingly at risk of missing. SEC also noted that Walgreens executives knew the financial goals for 2016 were a reach when they were announced in 2012. Under the settlement, Walgreens and the former executives must cease and desist from making untrue statements or omissions. In addition, Wasson and Miquelon--who both left the company in 2014--must each pay a $160,000 penalty.