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Germany Conducts MLP Probe

July 23, 2002

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ Prosecutors on Tuesday searched the offices of one of Germany’s leading financial-services providers, MLP, saying they were investigating possible accounting irregularities. The company said a special review had shown its books were in order.

MLP’s shares plunged after the announcement and were trading 22 percent lower in Frankfurt. The stock was added to Germany’s blue-chip DAX 30 index last year.

The company, founded in 1971 and based in Heidelberg, specializes in marketing insurance to law, medical and dental students and recent graduates with high earnings potential. It also offers financial-planning and pension management services.

A spokesman for prosecutors in Mannheim said the probe focused on allegations the company had misstated its finances in its earnings disclosures. Details of the investigation weren’t available.

The company said in a statement that the investigation had started with an anonymous complaint and focused on the company’s reinsurance business, which provides backup insurance to other insurance companies. The statement said a further review by auditor Ernst and Young had shown that the business’ accounting procedures were ``absolutely sound.″

``In view of the special report by Ernst & Young, which was both announced and presented to the public prosecutor’s office, MLP is untroubled by the public prosecutor’s inquiries and is providing active support,″ the statement read.

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