Satyam discloses SEC notice on possible charges

Satyam discloses SEC notice on possible charges

New York: Satyam Computer Services Ltd said it had received a notice from the US Securities and Exchange Commission saying that the market regulator may file a civil suit alleging fraud.

The software maker, hit last year by India’s biggest corporate fraud, revealed in a regulatory filing on Thursday that it had received the notification, known as a Wells Notice, on 17 September, 2009. It was not immediately clear why it was being made public now.

A spokesman for Satyam did not immediately respond to a request for comment. An SEC spokesman declined comment.

The notice said the SEC’s Division of Enforcement had tentatively decided to recommend that a civil suit be filed alleging fraud and other violations and seeking permanent injunctions and monetary relief, according to Satyam. The SEC has not yet made a decision, the company said.

Satyam’s former chairman and founder Ramalinga Raju stunned investors in January 2009 when he said profits had been overstated and assets falsified in a fraud allegedly involving more than $1.5 billion.

On Thursday, Satyam also said the SEC and authorities in India are investigating “round tripping" in periods prior to April 2002. Round-tripping is an accounting ploy often used by technology companies to inflate revenue.