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IBM forks out $7m in Dollar General settlement

Neither admits, nor denies, wrongdoing

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IBM has agreed to pay $7m to settle a Securities and Exchange Commision investigation into financial statements from Dollar General in 2000. The money will go into a Dollar General general shareholder fund.

The payment is only part of the settlement, under which IBM says it neither admits nor denies wrong doing. The terms of the agreement do include IBM accepting an administrative order from the SEC instructing the firm not to break the federal securities laws and related SEC rules.

In 2004, the SEC informed IBM that it was investigating an $11m transaction with Dollar General, as part of a broader investigation into the accounting practises of the IBM client. The SEC said the transaction violated accounting rules.

IBM says Dollar General is client of its Retail Store Solutions unit, which sells point-of-sale products.

IBM paid the money to Dollar General for used technology equipment as part of a deal in which Dollar General also bought new equipment from IBM. The SEC found that this deal helped a Dollar General earnings misstatement in 2000.

IBM says that it will not need to restate any earnings, since it has already dealt with any issues the SEC identified. ®

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