Eight former executives at AOL (NYSE: TWX) have been accused of overstating online ad revenue by $1 billion and have been hit with fraud charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission, WSJ reports. The alleged scheme lasted from around mid-2000 to mid-2002. A suit has been filed in a Manhattan civil court against AOL Time Warner Chief Financial Officer John Michael Kelly; Joseph Ripp, former CFO of the company's AOL division; Steven Rindner, a former senior executive in the company's business affairs unit; and Mark Wovsaniker, former head of accounting policy. Four other former AOL execs have reached a settlement agreement with the SEC: former controller James MacGuidwin will return $2.1 million and pay a $300,000 penalty; David Colburn, the former head of the business affairs unit, has agreed to pay $3.2 million back and has accepted $750,000 penalty. The two others were not identified by name, but were part of the AOL's business affairs unit.
By David Kaplan