updated 6/5/2005 8:45:46 PM ET 2005-06-06T00:45:46

Pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. is expected to settle a federal probe of its past accounting practices for $300 million, according to published reports.

As part of the so-called “deferred prosecution” agreement, the New York-based company would be able to avoid criminal charges if it complies with certain terms of the settlement, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal both reported Sunday night on their Web sites, citing unnamed sources familiar with the settlement talks.

An announcement of the agreement could come this week, the reports said.

Among the terms of the deal with the Justice Department are expected to be the separation of the chairman and chief executive titles currently held by Peter R. Dolan, and other changes in the company’s corporate governance practices, according to the Journal.

No current Bristol-Myers Squibb executives are expected to be indicted, thought it’s possible former executives may be indicted, according to the Journal.

Retired federal Judge Frederick B. Lacey will remain on board as the company’s independent monitor of accounting, internal controls and financial-reporting practices, both papers said.

Last year, Bristol-Myers Squibb reached a $150 million accounting-fraud settlement with the SEC after it was accused of manipulating its inventory of drugs to inflate earnings and meet Wall Street targets. The drug maker said it had overstated revenue for 1999-2001 by $2.5 billion by giving wholesalers deep discounts to buy more prescription medicine than they could sell.

A representative of the company would not comment to the Associated Press about the reports.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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