US Attorney looking into Lucent deal from 2000

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey is investigating a two-year old software licensing deal between Lucent Technologies Inc. and Winstar Communications Inc.

The investigation, which was disclosed in a filing Lucent made to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday, concerns a software licensing deal that eventually caused Lucent to have to restate earnings in 2000 by US$125 million. At the time, the company blamed a "revenue recognition issue" for the restatement.

The new investigation was begun in early August, according to the filing.

Despite the new investigation, the U.S. Attorney's Office has told Lucent it is not the target of the investigation, said Michelle Davidson, a spokeswoman for the Murray Hill, New Jersey, Lucent. Davidson was unable to provide further detail as to what is, in fact, the target of the investigation.

A spokeswoman for the Attorney's Office in New Jersey declined comment on the case, saying that "if the company wants to issue statements that is their prerogative, but our office cannot be involved in that."

Lucent is "cooperating fully with the U.S. Attorney's investigation," Davidson said.