Archive for Thursday, March 13, 2003

Government broadens AOL investigation

March 13, 2003

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— A federal probe of America Online Inc. and key executives will investigate whether the company was "aiding and abetting" schemes by other companies to artificially inflate reported revenue, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Securities and Exchange Commission investigators will investigate whether AOL and other companies exchanged cash through sham transactions to inflate their revenue reports, and whether former executives David M. Colburn and Eric Keller were involved, the Post said. Attorneys for Colburn and Keller declined to comment, the report said.

The events under investigation allegedly occurred before and after AOL merged with Time Warner Inc. in January 2001. AOL Time Warner has said it hoped to avoid criminal charges by cooperating with federal investigators.

The company has reported $190 million in accounting discrepancies and turned over documents to investigators.

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