THREE FORMER EXECUTIVES of Canadian network giant Nortel are in the dock over allegations they misrepresented financial results in order to collect fat bonuses.
Nortel, at one point one of the largest network equipment makers, has seen its three former top executives indicted for fraud, with prosecutors claiming ex-CEO Frank Dunn, CFO Douglas Beatty and controller Michael Gollogly stuck their hands in the cookie jar. The three men are accused of misrepresenting the firm's financial results during 2000 through 2004 to gain bonus payments, allegedly defrauding investors.
Prosecutor Robert Hubbard said in court, "This cookie jar approach allowed the accused to trigger lucrative cash and stock bonuses to themselves."
Last year Nortel's patent portfolio was auctioned off to a consortium that included Apple and Microsoft for $4.5bn after the firm filed for bankruptcy protection. It was a dramatic fall from grace for a company that in 2000 represented 33 per cent of the value on the Canadian stock exchange.
Justice Frank Marrocco told prosecutors they did not have to explicitly identify evidence of deliberate falsification of records. The trial comes three years after Dunn, Beatty and Gollogly were charged and the trio could face up to 14 years in the slammer if found guilty. µ