REPORT: SEC PROBING LUCENT FOR FRAUDULENT ACCOUNTING PRACTICES

CHICAGO

Reuters reports that a representative for Lucent Technologies Inc. says the company is cooperating with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in its probe of the telecommunications equipment giant’s accounting practices. But company officials say they disclosed Lucent’s accounting problems last November and there have been no new developments in the case.

“There’s no real news here today,” Lucent spokesman Bill Price says. “We’ve been talking about these issues since November. We voluntarily brought these issues to the SEC’s and the public’s attention and we’ve been freely and fully sharing information with them since then. We were quite clear in our November and December announcements that we were sharing information with the SEC.”

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the SEC was probing Lucent for possible fraudulent accounting practices. SEC officials would not confirm or deny the probe and declined further comment, while Lucent’s auditors, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, could not be reached for comment. Lucent announced on Nov. 21 that $125 million in improperly booked sales could reduce its results for the fourth quarter ended Sept. 30. The announcement sparked a 16-percent drop in the company’s stock value. Lucent, which posted $33.6 billion in revenues for fiscal 2000, is a global provider of communications systems, products and technologies.

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