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SEC: Polycom ex-CEO hid perks from investors

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SEC: Polycom ex-CEO hid perks from investors

Former Polycom CEO Andrew Miller used nearly $200,000 in corporate funds for personal perks he hid from investors, a federal regulator charged Tuesday. Miller, 55, used the funds to pay for lavish meals, foreign and domestic travel, clothing, gifts and entertainment for himself, his relatives and friends in an alleged scheme that ran from 2010 to 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission alleged.XXX 47204161_H685262.JPG I FIN SGP

The former executive allegedly hid the personal nature of the expenses by fabricating expense reports or directing administrative assistants to prepare reports that showed the spending involved official business for the Silicon Valley-based maker of video and voice communication technology. The SEC separately reached a $750,000 settlement with Polycom over inadequate internal controls involving the expenses.

Shares of Polycom were down fractionally at $13.32 in Tuesday afternoon trading. “CEOs are stewards of corporate assets and must be held to the highest standard of honesty and integrity,” said Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC’s enforcement division. “We will not hesitate to charge executives with fraud when they allegedly use a public company as a personal expense account and hide it from investors.”

Attorneys represent Miller in the civil securities fraud case the SEC filed in San Francisco federal court did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment. Polycom, which neither admitted nor denied the SEC allegations, declined to comment on the settlement. According to the SEC complaint, Miller ran up $190,000 in company-paid perks before Polycom’s audit committee confronted him about the scheme, leading to his resignation. The spending was not disclosed to company investors.

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