The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged The Kraft Heinz Company with engaging in a long-running expense management scheme that resulted in the restatement of several years of financial reporting. The SEC also charged Kraft’s former Chief Operating Officer Eduardo Pelleissone and its former Chief Procurement Officer Klaus Hofmann for their misconduct related to the scheme.
According to the SEC’s order, from the last quarter of 2015 to the end of 2018, Kraft engaged in various types of accounting misconduct, including recognizing unearned discounts from suppliers and maintaining false and misleading supplier contracts, which improperly reduced the company’s cost of goods sold and allegedly achieved “cost savings.” Kraft, in turn, touted these purported savings to the market, which were widely covered by financial analysts. The accounting improprieties resulted in Kraft reporting inflated adjusted “EBITDA,” a key earnings performance metric for investors. In June 2019, after the SEC investigation commenced, Kraft restated its financials, correcting a total of $208 million in improperly-recognized cost savings arising out of nearly 300 transactions.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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