Office-products retailer OfficeMax said yesterday that it overstated its profit by an estimated $4 million to $5 million for the first nine...

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ITASCA, Ill. — Office-products retailer OfficeMax said yesterday that it overstated its profit by an estimated $4 million to $5 million for the first nine months of 2004, the result of an accounting scandal that already has resulted in six employees being fired.

The company expects to report the revised results March 14, when it also is scheduled to release fourth-quarter and full-year earnings.

OfficeMax made the announcement after completing an internal investigation into its accounting that began in December after a vendor’s allegations that some employees had demanded promotional payments and falsified documents.

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The company said it overstated operating income in the first quarter of 2004 by about $7 million and understated operating income by about $1 million in each of the second and third quarters.

The company has been rocked by setbacks since late fall, when it changed its name from Boise Cascade and moved its headquarters from Idaho to Itasca. That move followed the late 2003 acquisition of OfficeMax for $1.2 billion by Boise Cascade, which subsequently shed its wood- and paper-products operations to focus exclusively on office products.