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    Cheney Sued in Business Dealings

    Halliburton's accounting comes under scrutiny.

    MIAMI -- A watchdog group yesterday filed suit against Vice President Dick Cheney and Halliburton Co., the oil company he ran for five years, concerning allegations of accounting fraud.

    Virginia-based Judicial Watch filed a shareholder lawsuit against Cheney and Halliburton, the former maker of Dresser Wayne fuel dispensers. The suit, which coincided with President's Bush's call for higher ethical standards in the corporate world, claims Halliburton overstated revenues by $445 million from 1999 through the end of 2001.

    "Halliburton overstated profits that many American citizens relied upon. That's fraudulent security practices and it resulted in those Americans suffering huge losses," said Larry Klayman, chairman and general counsel of Judicial Watch. The filing, made in U.S. District Court in Dallas, was announced at a news conference in Miami.

    White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, speaking on Cheney's behalf, said "they believe the suit is without merit and that's where it stands."

    Cheney served as Halliburton's chairman and chief executive from 1995 to 2000. The company had recently received notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission that the commission was looking into its accounting methods for reporting cost overruns on construction jobs. The SEC has not filed any charges against Halliburton.

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