Friday, June 22, 2007

Whistleblower: Halliburton Cooking The Books

If this proves true (its the only source I've found) we could have another Enron on our hands. Very interesting, huh?
Investors have shrugged off almost all the bad news at Halliburton Co. the past few years -- accusations of overbilling the U.S. Army and bribing foreign officials, along with scrutiny over business dealings in Iran and non-compete bids on government work.

Instead of tanking, the company's stock has soared.

The same investors might take notice, though, if Halliburton's financial statements were in doubt, and a former company accounting executive says they are.

Anthony Menendez, who was Halliburton's director of technical accounting research and training, has accused the world's second-largest oilfield-services company of using so- called bill-and-hold accounting and other undisclosed practices to ``distort the timing of billions of dollars in revenue.'' In short, Menendez says this allowed Halliburton to book product sales improperly, before they occurred.

The allegations are part of a 54-page complaint Menendez filed against Halliburton with a Labor Department administrative- law judge in Covington, Louisiana, who released the records in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. Menendez, who resigned last year and is seeking unspecified damages, says Halliburton retaliated against him in violation of the Sarbanes- Oxley Act's whistleblower provisions after he reported his concerns to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the company's audit committee.

Halliburton has denied the allegations. A company spokeswoman, Cathy Mann, says Halliburton's audit committee ``directed an independent investigation'' and ``concluded that the allegations were without merit.'' She declined to comment on bill-and-hold issues, and Halliburton's court filings in the case don't provide any details about its accounting practices.

(read more)

H/T Black Listed News

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