World Acceptance Corp to pay $21.7 million to settle SEC charges


The Commission found that World Acceptance Corporation inappropriately recorded the bribes as legitimate “commission” expenses in its books and records.

The consumer lender doesn’t have sufficient internal accounting controls to detect or prevent bribery and its top management “did not support robust internal audit and compliance functions and undermined the effectiveness of those functions,” according to the SEC.

As a result of the bribery, World Acceptance Corporation unjustly generated $18 million in profits. Its actions violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the Exchange Act.

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In a statement, SEC Division of Enforcement, FCPA Unit Chief Charles Cain said, “This long-running bribe scheme did not happen in a vacuum. Through a lack of adequate internal accounting controls and a culture that undermined its internal audit and compliance functions, World Acceptance Corporation created the perfect environment for the illicit activity to occur for nearly a decade.”