HousingWire's Ben Lane reports on the settlement between one of Florida's largest landowners and developers and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on charges the firm overvalued its holdings--and thereby materially overstated earnings and assets in 2009 and 2010. 

The SEC charged The St. Joe Company, its former top execs, and two former directors of accounting. St. Joe agreed to fork out a civil penalty of $2.75 million to settle the charges, while individual penalties were heaped on former CEO William Britton Greene, former CFO William McCalmont, former Chief Accounting Officer Janna Connolly, and former Directors of Accounting J. Brian Salter and Phillip Jones.

“St. Joe’s senior executives continuously failed to ensure that the company’s impairment testing included all costs, and that the company’s internal controls were properly applied,” said Stephen L. Cohen, associate director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division. “As a result, St. Joe’s financial statements repeatedly failed to accurately reflect the declining value of its most important assets during the financial crisis.”

... “None of the SEC's allegations, findings, sanctions, remedies or orders relate to any of the Company's current directors or controlling shareholders,” St. Joe’s sad in a statement. “The company cooperated with the SEC investigation and believes this settlement is in the best interests of the company.”

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