MEXICO CITY — A U.S. district court has granted Mexican TV giant TV Azteca a four-month deadline extension to reply to the civil securities fraud charges it was slapped with in early January.
The net’s top brass is accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of helping chairman Ricardo Salinas Pliego to illegally earn more than $100 million from a 2003 debt transaction involving cellular phone company Unefon.
Azteca was initially given until Feb. 1 to respond to the Federal District Court in Washington, D.C., but filed a motion requesting more time. The SEC did not object to the request, and Judge Emmett Sullivan granted the extension this week, guaranteeing that the trial will not be held until June at the earliest.
Salinas allegedly pocketed $109 million, in a complicated transaction in which he and a partner bought debt in Unefon, which Salinas partially owns, and then sold it back to the company for a huge profit without notifying shareholders or making any other disclosure.
Mexican regulators, meanwhile, have said they have concluded initial investigations of the net and have notified Azteca officials charges may soon be forthcoming.