- Associated Press - Friday, December 4, 2020

NEW YORK (AP) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Friday that The Cheesecake Factory settled charges that it misled investors on the impact the pandemic was having on its business.

The Cheesecake Factory said in March and April government filings that it was “operating sustainably” during the pandemic. But the SEC said Friday that the filings were “false and misleading” because internal documents at time showed the restaurant chain was losing $6 million in cash per week and had projected that it had 16 weeks of cash left.

The SEC also said The Cheesecake Factory, which is based in Calabasas Hills, California, and owns or operates nearly 300 restaurants, didn’t disclose that it wouldn’t pay April rent to its landlords.

Like other restaurants, The Cheesecake Factory has been hurt by the pandemic, temporarily closing locations. Most of its restaurants have reopened, but it is restricting how many people can eat inside.

The Cheesecake Factory agreed to pay a $125,000 fine to the SEC. The company did not admit or deny the SEC’s findings.

In a government filing Friday, the company said it “fully cooperated” with the SEC on the settlement.

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