The US Securities and Exchange Commission has settled charges against the former executives of a now-defunct New Jersey cheese maker and some of its vendors, accused of overstating the company’s revenues by around US$700m.

The SEC claimed that between 1998 and late 2001, executives at Suprema Specialties inflated revenue via a scheme that involved fictitious transactions and relabelling certain cheeses as “premium” to inflate inventory, reported Dow Jones News.

The SEC also accused the company of lying about the ingredients of its cheeses. The company allegedly claimed its products were natural or all-natural when they actually contained imitation and non-cheese materials.

The SEC said the settlement is still subject to court approval, and penalties would be decided at a later date.