Federal regulators continue to come down on hard on corporate executives they believe are involved with misrepresenting investors and analysts. The latest group to get collared were 8 executives from AOL Time Warner who are being charged with inflating the company’s online advertising revenue by more than $1 billion between 2000 and 2002.
“Four of the executives have agreed to settle the civil charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission by paying a total of roughly $8 million in fines and returning allegedly ill-gotten gains. They are David Colburn, Eric Keller, Jay Rappaport and James MacGuidwin, who was controller of the media company. The other three were in its business affairs unit.
The SEC charges are pending against the other four: John Michael Kelly, former AOL Time Warner chief financial officer; Joseph Ripp, ex-chief financial officer of the AOL division; Steven Rindner, a former senior executive in the business affairs unit, and Mark Wovsaniker, former head of accounting policy.”
There is no word just yet on what kind of sentence these individuals could face if they are found guilty, however we’d like to just throw one idea out there in the hopes that a judge might be reading: we’d like any guilty party to be forced to use AOL dial-up for the remainder of their years. We just hope this type of punishment isn’t considered cruel and unusual punishment.