NEW YORK – OfficeMax Inc. (OMX) Wednesday said it is delaying the release of its financial results after an internal probe found employees had fabricated supporting documentation for $3.3 million in billings.
The office-supply retailer also said Chief Financial Officer Brian Anderson had resigned two months after he was hired. Former CFO Ted Crumley will return to that position on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is found.
OfficeMax shares fell as much as 8 percent to a 14-month low in the wake of the announcement.
The company said in a statement that it fired four employees based on information from the investigation, which it expects to finish in February.
OfficeMax said the probe, which it launched in December, confirmed claims by a vendor that certain employees fabricated supporting documentation for about $3.3 million in claims the retailer billed to the vendor during 2003 and 2004.
OfficeMax has now expanded the scope of the investigation to include a review of the way in which it recorded rebates and other payments from vendors in those two years.
The company said it expects to complete the investigation by the third full week of February and to file its fourth-quarter and full-year 2004 results with the Securities and Exchange Commission (search) within the time period prescribed.
OfficeMax said it still plans to proceed with its previously announced share repurchase after reporting financial results for 2004. It planned to buy back between $775 million and $815 million of its own stock.
Chief Executive Chris Milliken expressed disappointment at Anderson's departure. "We regret that this commitment to our business was not strong enough to allow him to make a long-term contribution," he said in a statement.
The company's shares were down $2.06, or 6.8 percent, at $28.24 in New York Stock Exchange trading. Earlier they fell to $27.84, their lowest level since November 2003.