MetLife May Face An SEC Lawsuit

December 18, 2004

The life insurer MetLife Inc. said Friday it may be sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with improperly recorded expenses at its New England Life Insurance Co. unit.

MetLife disclosed the SEC's investigation last year after firing four employees and cutting previously reported second-quarter 2003 earnings by $31 million. An employee had alerted MetLife to an attempt to inflate profits, the New York-based insurer said at the time.

The SEC said in a so-called Wells notice that it may sue, allegiing violations of U.S. securities laws, MetLife said Friday. Given the Wells notice, the company has a chance to dissuade the agency's staff from recommending sanctions before the SEC's five commissioners decide whether to pursue an enforcement case.

From wire reports.

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