America’s Securities & Exchange Commission is reportedly widening its investigation into AOL Time Warner’s troubled internet unit.

Insiders claim the inquiry is being broadened to include ‘aiding and abetting’ illegal schemes by other companies to boost reported revenues.

The SEC is probing a number of deals forged by America Online, and in particular by former executives David M Colburn and Eric Keller. It is alleged these pacts were little more than exchanges of cash so that both parties could book extra sales.

By widening the inquiry, the SEC can look at AOL’s role in other firms’ financial improprieties, and punish the media mammoth if it is found guilty.

Data sourced from: Washington Post Online; additional content by WARC staff