The Securities and Exchange Commission has settled accounting fraud charges with ProQuest, a company that produces databases of archived information, and its former CFO.
The SEC alleged that Scott Hirth, former vice president of finance and CFO for ProQuest's Information and Learning Division, made fraudulent manual journal entries at the end of monthly and quarterly reporting periods in order to favorably alter ProQuest's financial results over a five-year period. The scheme ultimately cost the company more than $437 million in market capitalization and caused its stock price to drop by more than half its value during a two-month period in early 2006.
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