Means 25 million 25 million dollars


MUNICH (COMPUTERWOCHE) - More than a year after a fundamental agreement on Lucent's accounting practice ( reported), the telecommunications equipment manufacturer has agreed to pay the US Securities and Exchange Commission a $ 25 million fine. As announced by the Murray Hill, New Jersey company, all other points of the agreement remain in effect. Lucent still does not have to revise any balance sheets.

According to the announcement, the SEC does not intend to punish legal violations with the penalty now levied, but rather to sanction the lack of cooperation and certain actions of the company following the agreement in principle. Although Lucent was disappointed with the SEC's decision, it decided to pay the fine to shelve the case.

Lucent did not say which mistakes the SEC pissed off. According to the "Wall Street Journal", this includes a statement by Lucent attorney Paul Saunders in a report in Fortune Magazine from June last year. There Saunders described the $ 125 million deal between Lucent and Winstar Communications as a communication problem, but not as a balance sheet fraud. The mistake complained about by the SEC was not intentionally committed. However, Lucent later had to admit in a public reply that these statements were inappropriate and false. The transaction led to the falsification of documents as a result of accounting errors, both facts were fundamentally wrong and could not be justified.

The SEC began investigations against Lucent in late 2000 after the AT&T offshoot had notified regulators of false sales amounting to $ 679 million and revised its quarterly reports accordingly. The SEC then even investigated retrospectively to the mid-1990s to find out, among other things, whether current board members (including early Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill) might have known of previous accounting falsifications when they happened. (mb)