Dell proposes settlement in SEC investigation

The agency's staff will pitch the settlement to the commission, Dell says

Computer maker Dell has proposed a settlement in a long-term investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission into the company's accounting and financial reporting practices, the company said Friday.

SEC staff have agreed to recommend the settlement to commissioners, Dell said in a press release. The settlement would need to be approved by the SEC and a district court.

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An SEC spokesman said the agency had no comment on the proposed settlement.

Under the proposed settlement, the SEC would impose a civil penalty for alleged violations of negligence-based fraud provisions of federal securities laws, Dell said in a report filed to the agency in June. Michael Dell would be able to continue to serve as chairman and CEO under the settlement.

The settlement would be made without Dell admitting or denying the SEC allegations, Dell said in a 10-Q form filed with the SEC in June. Dell set aside $100 million for the settlement earlier this year. Friday's press release said the settlement would be consistent with the terms described in the 10-Q form.

The SEC has been investigating Dell's accounting practices since August 2005. The investigation centers around Dell's disclosures and alleged omissions made before fiscal year 2008 on its commercial relationship with Intel, according to information from the company.

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