The Securities and Exchange Commission has subpoenaed more than a dozen current and former Delphi executives to testify about improper accounting at the bankrupt auto supplier, according to published reports.
Among those served was former chairman and chief executive J.T. Battenberg III. The SEC cannot force people to testify, but can use that decision against them later if the agency later brings civil suits or seeks to bar them from serving as officers of publicly traded companies.
Lawyers familiar with the case have said at least three former mid- to upper-level executives, who were fired or forced to leave Delphi, have already declined to testify, including vice president of treasury, mergers and acquisitions, John Blahnik.
Delphi has admitted to widespread financial errors in a series of restatements, saying that improper accounting for transactions helped the company achieve earnings targets. In June, Delphi cut 2001 earnings by $265 million, reduced its 2002 net income by $24 million and narrowed its 2003 net loss by $46 million.Six Delphi executives have been forced to leave the company in the wake of the scandal -- including the company's vice chairman and chief financial officer, Alan Dawes; former treasurer Pam Geller; and Paul Free, the company's former chief accountant and controller. Delphi has offered no comment, other than saying the company is continuing to cooperate with the SEC.
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