China’s embattled coffee delivery startup Luckin has reached a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, agreeing to pay a $180 million penalty to settle charges that it overstated its revenues, expenses, and losses by the hundreds of millions of dollars.
The announcement by the market regulator arrived Wednesday evening, months after short-seller Muddy Waters first reported the alleged fraud early this year. In response to the allegations, Luckin said in April it would launch an internal probe. In June, the SEC said it would delist Luckin, and in July, Luckin admitted it did cook its books.
The fiasco came only a year after Luckin raised $651 million through its first time sale on Nasdaq. The company was founded in October 2017, making it one of the fastest companies to go from a startup to a public company.