[JURIST] Leading Monday's corporations and securities law news, the Financial Times is reporting that the US Department of Justice is nearing a settlement with Big Four accounting firm KPMG [FT report]. KPMG has been under investigation for its creation and marketing of illegal tax shelters and in June, KPMG publicly accepted responsibility for the illegal actions [JURIST report] of some of its former employees. According to the story, KPMG will agree to between 12 and 18 months probation, an independent overseer and a fine that could top $500 million. Reuters has more.
In other corporations and securities law news...
- The SEC has filed civil fraud charges against two former Bristol-Myers Squibb [corporate website] executives. In a press release, the SEC says that Frederick Schiff and Richard Lane fraudulently inflated Bristol-Myers' revenue by stuffing its distribution channels by pressuring customers to buy excess products and then carrying the customers' costs on the excess. Last year, Bristol-Myers settled with the SEC over the same charges [JURIST report] for $150 million. Reuters has more.
- The SEC also charged eight men with insider training related to adidas' purchase of Reebok earlier this month [AP report]. The SEC says that the defendants purchased thousands of shares and options for Reebok stock [press release] in the days leading up to adidas' takeover and sold the stock following the purchase. The SEC also received a court order to freeze the $6 million profit the agency says the defendants gained from the stock. The SEC took similar action earlier this month [JURIST report] against a man related to one of the defendants. Bloomberg has more.
- The Australian is reporting that, on the heels of a $253 Vioxx verdict against Merck in Texas [JURIST report], lawyers in Australia are increasing pressure on Merck to settle the thousands of lawsuits possibly awaiting trial there. And in the UK, the Daily Mail reports that at least 150 Britons plan to bring suit against the drug maker. Merck has said that it plans to "vigorously defend" all suits [press release] brought against the company.