Leading accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) has been ordered to pay $2.4 million in a settlement with US market regulators that marks the end of an investigation into apparel maker Warnaco Group Inc's 1998 financial results.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it charged Warnaco, a maker of Speedo swimsuits and Calvin Klein Jeans, with securities fraud in the agreement.

Warnaco agreed to settle without admitting or denying any wrongdoing, and agreed to hire an independent consultant to review its internal controls and adopt the consultant's recommendations within 180 days.

"We're pleased that we've reached this settlement and the last chapter of 'Old Warnaco' is now closed," Warnaco spokesman Doug Morris said.

Under the settlement, former Warnaco CEO Linda Wachner agreed to disgorge 1998 bonuses, plus interest, for a total payment of $1.3m.

In addition, the New York-based company's former auditor PWC was charged with "aiding and abetting Warnaco's reporting violations in the annual report," according to an SEC statement.