Lernout & Hauspie settlement

An article in the Boston Globe reports that Lernout & Hauspie’s auditors have agreed to make payments to investors ($115 million, but market capitalization was $10 billion). Thanks to Robin Bonthrone for this link.

bq. During the late 1990s and 2000, Lernout, a pioneer in systems that convert speech to text and computer commands and also turn digital text into synthesized speech, engaged in a host of schemes to inflate its revenues and bolster its soaring stock price, which hit $72.50 a share in March 2000. They included $100 million in bogus sales in South Korea and the creation of shell subsidiaries in Belgium and Asia to create paperwork for phony sales reports.

bq. Caught in the scandal was the former Dragon Systems Inc. of Newton, a speech recognition company that agreed to be bought for $460 million in June 2000 by L&H, just months before accounting problems erupted. Software vendor ScanSoft Inc. of Peabody agreed to buy most of Lernout’s remaining assets for $53.8 million in December 2001.

1 thought on “Lernout & Hauspie settlement

  1. L&H sent me a few years ago one of those one-sided, take-it-or-leave-it translator’s contracts that I had the effrontery to ask to renegotiate. I never heard from them again and am sure glad now I didn’t.

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