Status: Settled 2005
Amount: $2.5 billion
Investors in AOL Time Warner stock sued the company for fraud under federal securities law. The company was alleged to have improperly accounted for dozens of advertising transactions between 1998 and 2002.
The alleged transactions created the appearance that they were generating revenue when, in reality, were just shifting money back and forth. The alleged false earnings statements inflated the company’s value by $1.7 billion.