Lucent faces SEC fine after accounting probe

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Lucent faces SEC fine after accounting probe

Lucent Technologies will pay a $25m fine as part of a proposed settlement with the US Securities and Exchanges Commission.

Last year, Lucent came to an agreement with the SEC to end an investigation into its accounting practices. At the time, Lucent did not have to pay any fines, but the SEC has changed its mind and now intends to impose the $25m penalty.

The SEC is penalising Lucent because of what it considered a lack of co-operation during the investigation and certain actions by the company subsequent to the settlement agreement.

Lucent said it would pay the penalty to put the issue behind it, although the company is not admitting or denying any liability.

Other terms of the earlier agreement will remain in place. As part of the proposed settlement, Lucent would not be required to make any financial restatements. Any settlement remains subject to final approval by the SEC.

In November and December 2000, Lucent announced it had found accounting problems and adjusted downward its revenue for the fiscal fourth quarter of 2000. The SEC subsequently began an investigation of the company.

Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service

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