The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged the Jacksonville, Fla.-based retail chain Stein Mart Inc. with materially misstating its pre-tax income due to improper valuation of inventory subject to price discounts and for having inadequate internal accounting controls.

An SEC investigation found the retailer often offered its merchandise to customers at retail price reductions referred to as Perm POS markdowns and that merchandise subject to such a markdown never reverted back to its original retail price. Stein Mart reduced the value of inventory subject to these markdowns at the time the item was sold rather than immediately at the time the markdown was applied.

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