New York (July 10, 2002) -- Calling for a "new era of integrity in corporate America" in a speech to Wall Street executives Tuesday, President Bush unveiled several measures aimed at restoring public confidence in financial reporting in the wake of accounting scandals at companies including Enron, WorldCom and Adelphia.

Included in Bush's proposals was a plan to create a new corporate fraud task force to target accounting fraud, headed by the deputy attorney general. Bush said the task force will function as a "financial crimes SWAT team overseeing the investigation of corporate abusers and bringing them to account."

He also proposed doubling the maximum prison terms for those convicted of financial fraud from five to 10 years, and asked Congress to bolster SEC investigators' ability to temporarily freeze improper payments to corporate executives and to strengthen laws that prevent the destruction of corporate documents in order to hide crimes.

Bush said he will ask Congress for an additional $100 million in the coming year to give the Securities and Exchange Commission to enforce the law.

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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