SEC Fines Lucent $25 Million - InformationWeek

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SEC Fines Lucent $25 Million

The penalty is a settlement of civil fraud allegations because the company failed to fully cooperate in an investigation of its accounting,

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Lucent Technologies Inc. was fined $25 million by securities regulators Monday in a settlement of civil fraud allegations because it failed to fully cooperate in an investigation of its accounting.

The Securities and Exchange Commission also charged ten former executives of the telecom equipment maker for alleged participation in accounting irregularities in 2000, the company announced. The agency alleged that Lucent improperly booked $1.1 billion in revenue in 2000.

Lucent, based in Murray Hill, N.J., neither admitted to nor denied wrongdoing in its settlement with the SEC.

The settlement resolves an SEC investigation that began in late 2000, when Lucent disclosed that it had prematurely booked $679 million in revenues.

The company reached a tentative settlement agreement in February 2003. The SEC initially found Lucent to be cooperative and did not intend to fine the company but only to issue a cease-and-desist order against it. But the company's subsequent lack of cooperation prompted the agency to levy a fine, the source said.

The SEC is sending a message to corporate America that insufficient cooperation will be punished. In March, the agency fined Banc of America Securities, a division of Bank of America Corp., $10 million because it allegedly failed to promptly furnish documents requested by SEC attorneys. That amount already was a record fine for a violation of that type.

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