NEW YORK -- Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. is expected to settle a federal probe of its past accounting practices for $300 million, according to published reports.
As part of the so-called ''deferred prosecution" agreement, the New York pharmaceutical company would be able to avoid criminal charges if it complies with certain terms, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reported last night on their websites, citing unnamed sources.
An announcement of the agreement could come this week, the reports said.
Among the terms of the deal with the Justice Department are expected to be the separation of the chairman and chief executive titles held by Peter R. Dolan, and other changes in the company's corporate governance practices.
No current Bristol-Myers Squibb executives are expected to be indicted, thought it's possible former executives may be indicted, according to the Journal.
Retired federal Judge Frederick B. Lacey will remain on board as the company's independent monitor of accounting, internal controls and financial-reporting practices, both papers said.
Last year, Bristol-Myers Squibb reached a $150 million accounting-fraud settlement with the SEC after it was accused of manipulating its inventory of drugs to inflate earnings.