Tag: ASC 450 Contingencies

Mylan settles SEC charges for disclosure and accounting failures arising out of DOJ investigation

At the end of September, the SEC announced that it had filed a complaint in federal court charging pharma Mylan N.V. with failing to timely disclose in its financial statements the “reasonably possible” material losses arising out of a DOJ civil investigation.  The DOJ had investigated whether, by misclassifying its biggest product, the EpiPen, as a “generic,” Mylan had overcharged Medicaid by hundreds of millions of dollars. According to the complaint, although the investigation continued for two years, Mylan also failed to accrue for the “probable and reasonably estimable” material losses, as required under GAAP, until the announcement of a $465 million settlement with DOJ. In addition, some of Mylan’s other allegedly misleading disclosure flowed from its omission to discuss the claims.  The SEC alleged that Mylan’s risk factor was misleading because it framed the government’s misclassification claim as a hypothetical possibility, when, in fact, the claim had already been made.  As a consequence of these failures, the SEC alleged, Mylan’s SEC filings were false and misleading in violation of the Securities Act and Exchange Act.  Mylan agreed to pay $30 million to settle the SEC’s charges. While the SEC complaint makes the matter sound straightforward, in practice, deciding whether, when and what to disclose or accrue for a loss contingency can often be a challenging exercise.