The Securities and exchange Commission ordered McAfee to pay a $50 million penalty, bringing to a close a long- running investigation into shady accounting practices at the anti-virus software maker.
The SEC filed securities fraud charges against McAfee, alleging that the company inflated revenue by $622 million between 1998 and 2000.
As part of the settlement, McAfee denied any wrongdoing but agreed to pay the hefty fine, in addition to hiring an independent auditor to review its accounting practices and expand a program that allows customers and business partners to anonymously report unethical behavior.
In a statement, McAfee Chairman and CEO George Samenuk said he was pleased to be able to reach a settlement with the SEC.
The probe dates to 2002. The SEC concluded McAfee defrauded investors into believing it had met or exceeded Wall Street earning estimates. The company was allegedly engaged in "channel stuffing," in which McAfee, then known as Network Associates, improperly booked sales to its distributors as revenue.