Corporations and securities brief ~ SEC investigating pension records at Delphi

In Monday's corporations and securities law news, the SEC is reportedly investigating pension records at six big companies, including Delphi Corp. The Commission is focusing on whether the companies manipulated earnings by using inaccurate estimates to calculate pension costs. The SEC is also examining "cookie jar" reserves, said to be created when a company makes changes in pension plans to set aside artificially large cash reserves which can be dipped into during less profitable times. Delphi announced that regulators have requested documents from the company on its accounting related to pensions and retiree health benefits. Read the Delphi SEC filing here. AP has more.

In other news, Thomson Financial has announced that the SEC is investigating a division in the company which collects information on stock ownership. The company, which is cooperating in the probe, received a subpoena from regulators for documents related to its Capital Markets Intelligence business. Read Thomson Financial's press release here. AP has more.... Kmart announced Aylwin Lewis, a fast-food industry veteran, as the company's new president and CEO. Read the Kmart press release here. AP has more.... Former Statoil executive, Richard Hubbard, will not contest the fine levied by the Norwegian economic crime police for his role in a business deal with an Iranian consulting company. Hubbard will pay a fine of 200,000 kroner or $30,300. AP has more.... MCI Inc. has announced it will record non-cash impairment charges of $3.5 billion for the third-quarter to show the declining value of its assets. Read the MCI press release announcing the charge here. Bloomberg has more.... Star Gas Partners LP, owner of the biggest US heating-oil distributor, has announced that the company may seek bankruptcy protection due to high fuel prices. Read the Star Gas press release here. Bloomberg has more.

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