Ex-U.S. biotech executive fined for lying to auditors, charges dropped against CFO: SEC

FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission logo adorns an office door at the SEC headquarters in Washington, United States, June 24, 2011. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The former chief business officer of U.S. biotechnology company Osiris Therapeutics Inc has agreed to pay a $40,000 civil penalty for lying to auditors, the Securities and Exchange Commission said on Thursday.

The SEC had alleged that Bobby Dwayne Montgomery prompted Osiris to book fake revenue and give false information to auditors. Montgomery agreed to a judgment that enjoins him from future violations of securities law, the SEC said in a statement.

“Our client is pleased to have resolved this matter on a no-admit no-deny basis, and looks forward to moving on with his life,” said Stephen Crimmins, Montgomery’s lawyer.

The biotech firm previously paid a $1.5 million penalty to settle charges of overstating company performance and issuing fraudulent financial statements for nearly two years, the regulator said.

The SEC said it last month dismissed charges against one of Osiris’s former chief financial officers, Gregory I. Law. Litigation against two other executives is ongoing, the agency said.

“The SEC deserves credit for belatedly recognizing that Greg is innocent, but it doesn’t change the fact that he shouldn’t have been charged to begin with,” said Aitan Goelman, counsel for Law.

Reporting by Chris Prentice; Editing by Tom Brown