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Swisher Hygiene Admits To Accounting Fraud

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A Charlotte-based hygiene company is admitting to some dirty accounting. The U.S. Attorney's office in Charlotte is charging Swisher Hygiene with accounting fraud, and the company is agreeing to a $2 million penalty.

You may not realize it, but you've probably seen Swisher's products. The Charlotte company provides soap, toilet paper and other restroom materials for schools, restaurants, hotels – pretty much any large facility.

Now, Swisher admits it defrauded the public by faking its financial strength in 2011. A former senior executive faces prison time, and the company itself will pay a $2 million penalty.

The U.S. Attorney's office says that penalty reflects this financial reality for the company: its auditors noted that any higher penalty could knock the company out of business. Swisher employs about 1,000 people, and a larger hygiene company, EcoLab, is in the process of acquiring it.