Comscore Agrees to Pay $5 Million to SEC Over Charges It Overstated Revenue
Comscore has reached a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission related to charges that its former CEO Serge Matta engaged “in a fraudulent scheme to overstate revenue by approximately $50 million,” according to the SEC. Investigators found that for two years starting in 2014, Matta had entered the company into “non-monetary transactions” to increase reported revenue. These transactions allowed Comscore and a counterparty to exchange sets of data “without any cash consideration,” according to the SEC. Comscore then allegedly claimed revenue on these transactions that was “improperly increased in order to inflate revenue.”
The company, which measures media audiences for entertainment companies and advertisers, will pay a $5 million settlement to the SEC, and “agreed to cease-and-desist from future violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws.” Matta has separately paid a $700,000 settlement with the SEC and will reimburse Comscore $2.1 million. “We are pleased to have settled this legacy issue with the SEC,” said Brent Rosenthal, chairman of Comscore’s board, in a statement.