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Recovering from scandals, Comverse relisted on Nasdaq

Jacob Alexander in a magistrate's court in Windhoek,

Jacob Alexander in a magistrate's court in Windhoek, Namibia, where he was fighting extradition to the United States. (July 9, 2007) Photo Credit: Bloomberg News, 2007

In an achievement that marks another step to redemption by Comverse Technology Inc., which was battered by accounting scandals in the past decade, the Nasdaq stock exchange has approved its application to list its shares.

Starting Friday, the business software maker will be listed, as CMVT, on the global select market segment of the Nasdaq, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Delisted during a series of criminal and civil court cases, notably on charges that it backdated options to enrich top executives, in recent years Comverse has traded over the counter.

The re-listing "can help broaden our investor base and increase our corporate visibility,"  chief executive Charles Burdick said in a prepared statement. Comverse owns a majority share in Verint, of Melville, a publicly traded video analytics company.

Now based in Manhattan but with deep Long Island roots, Comverse in April avoided prosecution under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by agreeing to pay a $2.8 million penalty to two federal agencies. It agreed to pay $1.2 million to the Justice Department and $1.6 million to the SEC.

The April settlement came in a case against Comverse centered on $536,000 in improper payments to officials of a Greek telecom company, OTE, from 2003 to 2006. In exchange OTE agreed to buy services from Comverse, officials said.

Long based in Woodbury, Comverse under former chief executive Jacob  Alexander (shown in photo) grew into a billion-dollar corporation specializing in software for voice communications. The Comverse headquarters was moved to Manhattan in 2005.

Alexander, who is known as Kobi, fled to the southwestern African nation of Namibia and still faces federal criminal charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice.

Photo: Former Comverse chief executive Jacob Alexander.

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