Former Nortel Executives Face Criminal Charges

 
 
By Reuters -  |  Posted 2008-06-19
 
 
 

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Royal Canadian Mounted Police laid criminal charges against former Nortel Networks Corp Chief Executive Frank Dunn and other onetime executives on Thursday, accusing the men of fraudulently misstating the telecom equipment maker's results.

Aside from Dunn, who faces seven counts, former Chief Financial Officer Douglas Beatty, and Michael Gollogly, Nortel's former corporate controller, also face charges.

The market enforcement team of the RCMP said the three were also accused of making false entries and omitting materials in Nortel's books.

Police said the charges pertain to the period between the start of 2002 and June 30, 2003.

In a statement issued shortly after the charges were announced, Nortel -- North America's biggest maker of telephone equipment -- said it was not the target and that the charged executives were dismissed for cause in 2004.

The accounting scandal that hit Toronto-based Nortel earlier this decade was one of the major hurdles it faced in its turnaround efforts after the tech bubble burst in 2001.

It also forced the company to restate its results a number of times, shaking the investor faith in its prospects and triggering a bevy of investigations.

The police said they received co-operation from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. and Ontario securities regulators and Nortel itself.

The investigation has been a lengthy one: the RCMP became involved in the case as early as May 2004. In February of this year, a media report emerged that the charges against the former executives were imminent.

(Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; editing by Rob Wilson)