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GE fined $50m by SEC

GENERAL Electric has been fined $50m (&pound;29.5m) after being accused of manipulating its earnings to meet analysts&rsquo; expectations.<br /><br />The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleged that the firm deceived investors, adding that &ldquo;overly aggressive accounting can distort a company&rsquo;s true financial condition.&rdquo;<br /><br />GE did not admit or deny the allegations, but agreed to pay the fine after being accused of civil fraud and other accounting related charges.<br /><br />The SEC&rsquo;s case was based on an investigation of the conglomerate&rsquo;s accounting practices, which found that on four individual occasions between 2002 and 2003, high level GE executives signed off on accounting that did not comply with common accounting standards.<br /><br />GE stated the errors &ldquo;fell short of... standards&rdquo;, and said it would ensure they did not happen again.