COMPANY PRESS RELEASE: BellSouth Corporation (BLS) has announced that it has entered into a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to alleged violations of the books and records and internal controls provisions, specifically sections 13(b)(2)(A) and (B), of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
BellSouth first disclosed this investigation in October 2000. Under the terms of the settlement, the company neither admits nor denies the SEC’s findings.
The settlement agreement relates to its Nicaraguan and Venezuelan affiliates (Telefonia Celular de Nicaragua and Telcel, respectively) and the improper recording of certain payments in their books and records, as well as their failure to maintain an adequate system of internal controls.
In reaching the settlement, the company agreed to pay a civil penalty of $150,000 and agreed to the entry of an administrative order requiring BellSouth to refrain from violations of sections 13(b)2(A) and (B) of the Securities and Exchange Act which relates to the book and records and internal controls provisions. In its order, the SEC recognized BellSouth’s cooperation with the Commission’s staff during the investigation. The SEC also acknowledged that BellSouth has taken remedial actions and enhanced its compliance program.