Securities Law Prof Blog

Editor: Eric C. Chaffee
Univ. of Toledo College of Law

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Remaining Defendant in Lucent Accounting Action Settles with SEC

On August 17, 2010, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey entered final judgment against Nina Aversano, former President of North America Service Provider Networks and former corporate officer of Lucent Technologies Inc. (Lucent), arising out her role in an accounting fraud action that the SEC previously filed against Lucent and ten individuals. Aversano was the remaining defendant in this action. The Commission alleged that Aversano entered into side agreements with certain of Lucent's distributors that granted the distributors rights and privileges beyond those contained in their respective distribution agreements. Those side agreements made it improper for Lucent to recognize revenue, and caused Lucent to materially overstate its pre-tax income for fiscal year 2000.

Without admitting or denying the allegations in the Commission's Amended Complaint, Aversano consented to the entry of the order, which permanently enjoins her from aiding and abetting violations of the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws, and from violating, or aiding and abetting the violation of, the books and records, internal controls, and reporting provisions of the federal securities laws.  In addition, Aversano was ordered to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $100,000 and to: (1) not seek or become an officer or director of any public company for one year following the date of entry of the Final Judgment; (2) resign immediately from the audit committee of New Jersey Resources Corporation; and (3) discontinue her relationship with the Board of Directors of New Jersey Resources at the earlier of [a] termination by the company, or [b] the expiration of her current term in January 2011.

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