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A small drug maker settled charges by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of accounting and disclosure violations, including a failure to report millions of dollars in perks that were actually compensation to its former chief executive officer and chief financial officer. As a result, Provectus Biopharmaceuticals (PVCT) shareholders did not have a complete or accurate financial picture of the company.

The agency alleged that former Provectus chief executive Craig Dees treated the company like his “personal piggy bank,” using roughly $3.2 million he received from 2011 to early 2016 to pay for business travel that he never took. Instead, the money was used to pay for breast enhancement surgery for female friends ($13,000, to be exact), large tips at Hooter’s restaurants, and personal travel. The SEC filed charges against Dees in federal court in Knoxville, Tenn.


At the same time, the SEC alleged that former chief financial officer Peter Culpepper also obtained nearly $200,000 in undisclosed benefits and perks. And as with Dees, the agency alleged that Culpepper failed to adequately oversee accounting matters — to the detriment of Provectus investors, since none of these perks were disclosed to shareholders.

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