WV Enters AOL Accounting Fraud Fray

July 25, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - West Virginia is the latest state to toss its hat into the AOL Time Warner Inc. accounting fraud lawsuit arena - but has decided not to join a class action.

The latest suit, filed by the West Virginia Investment Management Board in Kanawha Country Circuit Court, accuses AOL and Time Warner insiders, bankers and accountants of falsifying financial documents prior to and following the 2001 merger that created the media conglomerate.   This allegedly illegal action subsequently cost the state pension accounts $9 million, the suit contends, according to a Dow Jones report.

Craig Slaughter, the board’s executive director, said the state opted to file its own lawsuit against AOL Time Warner rather than participate in a class-action case (See  Institutional Investors Vie For Lead in AOL Time Warner Suit ).

This is the latest in a series of actions taken against AOL Time Warner accusing the company of accounting fraud and insider trading.    Last week, Ohio and the two largest public pension systems in California filed suit seeking to recoup investment losses (see  California, Ohio Pensions File AOL Time Warner Suits ).  Earlier the University of California filed a lawsuit alleging executives at the company made approximately $936 million through insider trading during the merger two years ago (See  Lawsuit Accuses AOL Time Warner Execs of Insider Trading ).