Dell has been accused of improper accounting of multi-million dollar payments from Intel . The accusation is made in a class action lawsuit from lawyer William Lerach. PricewaterhouseCoopers , Dell's accountant, was also named as a defendant.

The Wall Street Journal alleges the company was receiving "secret and likely illegal" kickbacks in a pact with Intel potentially worth $1 billion per year.

The suit alleges the payments were received in the form of exceptional monies paid to ensure Dell didn't use competing chips - which it now does. Dell is shipping many deskops and laptops with AMD silicon.

AMD filed an antitrust suit against Intel last year, alleging Intel was forcing Dell into an exclusive deal. Neither Intel nor Dell have yet commented on the latest suit.

Michael Dell succeeded Kevin Rollins as CEO of Dell last Wednesday. Rollins and Dell are among 15 senior people to be named in the suit.