Interactive entertainment group E-district, which floated on the stock market in March 2000, proceeded with its £30 million IPO despite the Audit Bureau of Circulations’ refusal to approve its site usage data, it emerged yesterday.

ABC Electronic, the ABC’s online division, said it was not satisfied that the data supplied by the company was accurate, insisting it must itself be involved in the collection and collation of data before a full audit could be carried out.

Meantime, following the firing last month of E-district chief executive Steven Laitman, an internal investigation discovered that revenues and site usage numbers had been “substantially overstated”. The Fraud Squad has now been called in.

The company’s auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, which was involved in the IPO, declined to comment on the situation and its own part in the matter.

News source: The Times (London)