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Audit firm settles SEC charges over ignoring signs of fraud

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(Reuters) — The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday said that audit firm Grant Thornton L.L.P. and two of its partners agreed to settle charges that they ignored red flags and fraud risks at two publicly traded companies.

Grant Thornton admitted wrongdoing and will pay a $3 million penalty, as well as forfeit about $1.5 million in audit fees, the SEC said in a release. The audits involved senior housing provider Assisted Living Concepts and alternative energy company Broadwind Energy, the SEC said.

"We are pleased to have these several-years-old matters resolved and we maintain a strong commitment to continually improving the quality of our work," Grant Thornton said in a statement.