Office Depot on Deathwatch
If Office Depot goes out of business, where will these two people in Bizmarck, North Dakota, go for office supplies?
Our depressed local economy really can't afford for another big business to hit the skids, but that's what it's looking like for Office Depot, based in Boca Raton. We've been following the company's misfortunes since last year. This isn't merely a case of an office supplier having fewer offices to sell to; rather, the company is being accused of cheating a bunch of government clients by overcharging them.
This past December, Office Depot said it had agreed to pay a civil penalty to settle an SEC investigation that began in 2007. The inquiry primarily involved allegations that Office Depot leaked information to financial analysts, violating Regulation FD, which prohibits selective disclosure of financial information. It also involved separate inquiries into vendor payments, intercompany loans, and other accounting issues.
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