Corporations and securities brief ~ AIG admits to improper accounting

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's corporations and securities law news, American International Group Inc. (AIG) [corporate website] announced it will delay its SEC filing of its quarterly results and also that it had found documentation of illegal transactions with General Re Corp, the center of the probes by the SEC and New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer [official website]. AIG said it would need more time to review its books indicating there would be a downward revision in previously stated shareholders' equity. AIG said it would file the report on April 30. Read the AIG press release. AP has more.

In other news...

  • House Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael Oxley [official website] and Capital Markets Subcommittee Chairman Richard Baker [official website] wrote a letter to SEC Chairman William Donaldson [SEC biography] stating the SEC must pass a rule which allows brokers to charge customers fees based on their account assets. The two representatives want to avoid duplicative regulation on brokers. Read the joint press release. CBSMarketWatch has more.

  • One week after settling its claims arising from its role as an underwriter for WorldCom for $2 billion, JP Morgan Chase [corporate website] was granted its motion to dismiss a securities class action lawsuit arising from its dealings with Enron [corporate website; JURIST Hot Topic news archive]. The decision, In Re JP Morgan Securities Litigation, said plaintiffs failed to meet the standard of proof required in a securities class action. Plaintiffs claimed JP Morgan misstated its financial transactions with Enron, thereby perpetuating Enron's fraud. The New York Law Journal has more.

  • San Francisco investment bank Thomas Weisel Partners [corporate website] announced a $1.75 million settlement with the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) [corporate website] over its initial public offering practices. The payment settles allegations that Weisel received unusually high trading commissions from its customers in exchange for share allocations of popular IPOs. Morgan Stanley [corporate website] and Bear Stearns Cos. [corporate website] settled similar charges last year. Read the NASD press release. CBSMarketWatch has more.

  • Alexei Pichugin [trial website], the former security chief of Russian oil giant Yukos [corporate website; JURIST Hot Topic news archive], was sentenced to 20 years in jail for murder and attempted murder. Pichugin was allegedly ordered to murder two people at the behest of Leonid Nevzlin, a shareholder in Yukos and friend of chief executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky [JURIST Newsmaker news archive]. Pichugin will appeal his conviction. Read a summary of Pichugin's conviction. BBC News has more.

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) [corporate website] has named Mark Hurd as its new CEO and president replacing ousted Carly Fiorina. Read the HP press release. AP has more.

  • US District Court Judge Dickinson Debevoise ruled copycat manufacturers, Teva Pharmaceuticals Inc. [corporate website] and Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. [corporate website], of generic versions of Pfizer Inc.'s Accupril blood pressure drug must halt their sales. The judge found in favor of Phizer Inc. [corporate website] because it was likely to win a patent infringement lawsuit filed against Teva and Ranbaxy. Phizer said it will seek to recover damages from lost sales. Teva and Ranbaxy said they would appeal the judgment. Read the Phizer press release. Read the Ranbaxy press release. Reuters has more.
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