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Monster admits monstrous error

Mistated results from 1997 to 2005...

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Monster.com - the online recruitment site - has told the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it has been over-stating its profits since the late 90s.

Since 1997 until 2005 the site exaggerated profits by a total of $272m. The company said its investigation into backdated share options was almost complete but it expects to make final recomendations in the first quarter of 2007. Several dozen Silicon Valley companies are accused of mis-stating results and backdating share options.

Back in October the founder of Monster.com Andrew McKelvey resigned from the board and from the company because he refused to co-operate with the three-man committee set up to investigate the scandal. Since then he has paid the company back over half a million dollars.

The statement given to the SEC said: "Mr. McKelvey has reimbursed the Company approximately $533,000 for certain expenses paid by the Company during the periods 1996 through 2006. The Company continues to seek reimbursement, plus interest, on certain other items."

In November the company sacked its top lawyer over the scandal - general counsel Myron Olesnyckyji - who had been suspended since September.

The company is still facing investigation by the SEC, the US Attorney General's office and a class action case from a former employee and former company officers. It is also facing claims for damages from other former employees who have been unable to excercise their share options because of the ongoing investigation.

The whole SEC statement is available here.®

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