Vivendi Universal faces further investigations into its accounting practices under controversial former boss Jean-Marie Messier.

The ailing media titan revealed Monday that a preliminary criminal inquiry has been opened by the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York. Aiding the probe is the Miami office of the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has been informally investigating Vivendi.

At the heart of the inquiry is the alleged release of deceptive financial information by Vivendi to prop up its share price.

Last week, French judicial authorities launched an investigation into the accusations [WAMN: 30-Oct-02]. Vivendi is also the subject of an examination by France’s stock market regulator and a class-action lawsuit by US investors.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff