SEC mulls civil suit against IBM

Martin LaMonica
Martin LaMonica Former Staff writer, CNET News
Martin LaMonica is a senior writer covering green tech and cutting-edge technologies. He joined CNET in 2002 to cover enterprise IT and Web development and was previously executive editor of IT publication InfoWorld.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is considering recommending a civil suit against IBM for possible wrongdoing relating to a transaction between Big Blue and its customer, Dollar General, IBM said Thursday. An IBM employee was also notified of the investigation and received an official notice from the SEC in connection with the matter, IBM said.

In the transaction under scrutiny, IBM paid Dollar $11 million for used equipment as part of a purchase of new point-of-sale products. The SEC is looking into whether this transaction aided and abetted Dollar in its alleged misstatement of its 2000 financial results, according to IBM. Big Blue said it will fully cooperate with the SEC inquiry, which the company first disclosed in June of 2003.