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Magyar Telekom seeks US settlement

Magyar Telekom plans to begin talks with US authorities over a settlement in a contracts inquiry involving fraudulent payments between 2000-06, its chief executive said.

In December, the company, which is also listed in the US, said an internal investigation into a number of contracts revealed that former executives at its Hungarian and Macedonian units had authorized fraudulent payments totaling about €24 million from 2000-2006.

No current member of management is implicated in any wrongdoing based on the findings of the company's own investigation. Relevant investigations launched by government authorities, including the US Department of Justice (DoJ), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as well as Macedonian and Hungarian authorities are still under way.

The inquiry, which cost Magyar Telekom HUF 20.3 billion ($103.2 million), was triggered in 2006 after an examination of €7 million  paid under four consultancy contracts at the company's Montenegrin unit. (Reuters)