Former Nortel executives finally tried in $4.9 million fraud case

Charges were filed in 2008 for fraud that occurred from 2000 to 2004

On Sunday, in Canada, a trial finally began for three former Nortel Networks Corp. executives who were charged in 2008 with a $4.9 million dollar fraud scheme involving misstated financial results from 2000 to 2004.

The telephone equipment company’s former CEO, CFO and controller were fired in 2004, after an internal investigation dug up concerns over earnings statements that claimed Nortel returned to profit in 2003 after losses in 2001 and 2002 during the technology stock crash. The executives allegedly misstated these financial results and took the opportunity to pocket millions of dollars’ worth of bonuses.

Experts are citing this case as an example of how ineffective Canada’s approach to white-collar crime is. David Hutton, executive director of Fair Accountability Initiative for Reform, an Ottawa-based whistleblower advocacy group, told Bloomberg that “Nortel is a classic example because it’s taken ages” for the trial to begin. Canada will have to wait a little longer yet for justice—the trial is expected to last six to nine months.

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