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Informix, SEC settle fraud charges

No fine is levied in the settlement of the dispute, which alleged that the database maker had inflated the firm's financial performance from 1994 through mid-1997.

    Informix has settled charges that it improperly inflated revenues and earnings.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that Informix executives had inflated the firm's financial performance from 1994 through mid-1997, accusing the company of puffing up its revenue by $295 million and earnings by $244 million.

    Informix, the No. 3 database maker behind Oracle and IBM, was not fined or penalized in the SEC settlement. But the company has agreed to pay stiff fines for future violations and will cooperate with the SEC's continuing investigation. While Informix has settled with the SEC, the commission is still investigating Informix's former executives and others related to the case, said Informix attorney Gary Lloyd.

    "It was an unfortunate investigation, but it's over. We're relieved and grateful this is all behind us," Lloyd said.

    The alleged accounting fraud spawned a series of lawsuits in 1997 by shareholders accusing the company of misrepresenting its financial outlook. Last May, the company settled shareholder's lawsuits for $142 million.

    Informix shocked its investors in spring 1997 when it reported that its first-quarter revenue and profit would be sharply lower than expected because of sluggish sales. Informix later restated its earnings from 1994 to 1997.