By September 27, 2016 Read More →

Oil services firm Weatherford to pay $140 million for accounting fraud

 Weatherford fraudulently lowered the year-end sum it set aside for income taxes each year by $100 million to $154 million

By Suzanne Barlyn

accounting fraud(Reuters) – Oil services company Weatherford International LLC has agreed to a $140 million penalty to settle charges it inflated its earnings by using deceptive income tax accounting, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Tuesday.

Two Weatherford senior accounting executives at the time also agreed to settle charges that they were behind the scheme, the SEC said.

A spokeswoman for Weatherford, which neither admitted nor denied the SEC’s allegations, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Weatherford fraudulently lowered the year-end sum it set aside for income taxes each year by $100 million to $154 million so that it “could better align its earnings results with its earlier-announced projections and analysts’ expectations,” the SEC said in an order.

The company was forced, as a result, to restate its financial statements on three occasions in 2011 and 2012.

“Weatherford’s designed tax structure was far more successful than reality,” the SEC said in a statement. (Reporting by Suzanne Barlyn; Editing by Paul Simao and Marguerita Choy)

accounting fraud

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