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Motorcar, SEC Reach Tentative Settlement

September 05, 2002|DEBORA VRANA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Motorcar Parts & Accessories Inc., a Torrance-based auto parts maker, said Wednesday that it reached a tentative settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which began investigating the company's financial statements more than two years ago.

Motorcar's shares plunged in May 1999 after the company said it expected to report a large loss for the previous fiscal year. On Aug. 1, 1999, the company said it would have to restate 1997 and 1998 results because of "accounting irregularities." The stock was suspended for one month by Nasdaq and lost 70% of its value when it resumed trading Sept. 2, 1999.

The company said that, under the terms of the proposed civil settlement with the SEC, the firm would be subject to a permanent injunction barring it from violations of the anti-fraud and financial reporting provisions of securities laws. It was unclear if there would be a monetary fine.

Motorcar President Anthony Souza did not return a call for comment Wednesday. Officials at the SEC in Los Angeles said they could not comment on any tentative settlement. The company said the SEC staff did not say when the settlement would be put before commissioners for approval.

In May, Motorcar said the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles was conducting a criminal investigation of the firm.

Motorcar shares closed at $3.05 in the so-called pink sheet market Wednesday, down 5 cents. The announcement was made after the market closed.

Motorcar remanufactures alternators and other parts for cars and light trucks.

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