Diebold “regularly manipulated earnings to meet forecasts,” the SEC said in the complaint filed today in federal court in Washington. The agency is seeking an unspecified civil penalty in the case.
The case is U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Diebold Inc., 10cv908, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).
But wait! There's more...
From Forbes today. That was quick (and relatively painless for Diebold, if not some of their executives)...
The SEC filed civil charges against former Diebold ( DBD - news - people ) executives Gregory Geswein, Kevin Krakora and Sandra Miller, alleging they manipulated the company's accounting to meet earnings forecasts from 2002 through 2007.
Diebold's former chief executive, Walden O'Dell, agreed to pay back about $470,000 in cash, plus stock and options. He was not charged with fraud but the government was allowed to recapture his compensation under the so-called "clawback" provision of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley anti-fraud law.
"We are pleased that the settlement with the SEC is final," Thomas Swidarski, Diebold's CEO, said in a statement.
Deep into work on another story, so no time to offer full background on the above. But you'll find plenty of it in our March 2009 coverage when Krakora, Diebold's Chief Financial Off... as the SEC investigation heated up. That reports offers links and details on various DoJ and SEC investigations of Diebold, as well as to our own 2007 investigative exclusive on what appears to have been insider trading at Diebold. Hoping the SEC has looked into that report as well, since Krakora was the largest inside trader in the August 2007 deal we exposed, taking place just two days before the announcement of the spin-off of Diebold's election division, and a huge stock-price plummet accompanying it, from which it's never recovered.
For the record, late last year, Diebold's failed election division (renamed Premier in 2007 after years of embarrassment over their voting systems) was purchased for a pittance by ES&S, which was subsequently forced by the DoJ to sell off the assets due to anti-trust concerns. Two weeks ago, ES&S finally found a buyer they approved of (yes, the DoJ gave them that right, for some reason, in their settlement). The new owner of whatever is left of Diebold Voting System's assets is now a Canadian-based firm with an insanely totalitarian name: Dominion Voting [PDF].
While there was much (appropriate) outrage and concern, particularly from the Right, over the foreign-ownership of the nation's third largest e-voting company, Sequoia --- whose parent company, the Venezuelan-based, Chavez-tied Smartmatic was forced Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) into what appears to have been a sham sell-off) --- we've yet to hear a whimper of concern about the control of the U.S.' second largest voting machine company having its roots in Canada.
At the time of the sale, Dominion CEO John Poulos ominously stated: "We are extremely pleased to conclude this transaction, which...will allow Dominion to expand its capabilities and operational footprint to every corner of the United States."