U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

United States of America
before the
Securities and Exchange Commission

Securities Exchange Act of 1934
Release No. 48537 / September 25, 2003

Accounting and Auditing Enforcement
Release No. 1870 / September 25, 2003

Administrative Proceeding
File No. 3-11268


In the Matter of

Stephen Scott Lowber, CPA,

Respondent.


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ORDER INSTITUTING ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO RULE 102(e) OF THE COMMISSION'S RULES OF PRACTICE, MAKING FINDINGS, AND IMPOSING REMEDIAL SANCTIONS

I.

The Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission") deems it appropriate and in the public interest that public administrative proceedings be, and hereby are, instituted against Stephen Scott Lowber ("Lowber" or "Respondent") pursuant to Rule 102(e)(3)(i) of the Commission's Rules of Practice.1

II.

In anticipation of the institution of these proceedings, Respondent has submitted an Offer of Settlement (the "Offer") which the Commission has determined to accept. Solely for the purpose of these proceedings and any other proceedings brought by or on behalf of the Commission, or to which the Commission is a party, and without admitting or denying the findings herein, except as to the Commission's jurisdiction over him and the subject matter of these proceedings, and the findings contained in Section III.3 below, which are admitted, Respondent consents to the entry of this Order Instituting Administrative Proceedings Pursuant to Rule 102(e) of the Commission's Rules of Practice, Making Findings, and Imposing Remedial Sanctions ("Order"), as set forth below.

III.

On the basis of this Order and Respondent's Offer, the Commission finds that:

1. Lowber, age 52, is a certified public accountant who has been licensed to practice in the State of Washington. He is currently a certificate holder but not actively licensed in the State of Washington. He served as Chief Financial Officer of Cutter & Buck Inc. ("Cutter" or the "Company") from 1997 until August 2002.

2. Cutter is a Washington corporation headquartered in Seattle, Washington. The Company designs and distributes upscale sportswear. The Company's common stock is registered with the Commission pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act"), and has been quoted on the Nasdaq Stock Market since the Company's 1995 initial public offering.

3. On August 7, 2003, the Commission filed a complaint against Lowber in SEC v. David Andrew Hilton and Stephen Scott Lowber (Civil Action No. C 03-2511-Z). On August 29, 2003, the court entered an order permanently enjoining Lowber, by consent, from future violations of Sections 10(b), 13(a), 13(b)(2)(A), 13(b)(2)(B) and 13(b)(5) of the Exchange Act and Rules 10b-5, 12b-20, 13a-1, 13b2-1 and 13b2-2 thereunder. Lowber was also ordered to pay a $50,000 civil money penalty and prohibited from serving as an officer or director of a public company.

4. The Commission's complaint alleged, among other things, that Lowber engaged in actions that resulted in Cutter filing materially false financial statements for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2000 and April 30, 2001. The Complaint alleged that, at the end of the 2000 fiscal year, Cutter shipped $5.7 million in products to three distributors who had no obligation to pay for the goods unless Cutter found customers for the goods, improperly recognizing revenue in violation of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP"). According to the Complaint, Lowber knew or was reckless in not knowing that the distributors did not have the financial ability to pay for the products. The Complaint further alleged that, when the distributors subsequently returned the products to Cutter, Lowber directed Cutter personnel to record the returns in a manner that would conceal them from the Company's independent auditors.

IV.

In view of the foregoing, the Commission deems it appropriate and in the public interest to impose the sanction agreed to in Respondent Lowber's Offer.

Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED, effective immediately, that:

Lowber is suspended from appearing or practicing before the Commission as an accountant.

By the Commission.

Jonathan G. Katz
Secretary

Endnotes

1 Rule 102(e)(3)(i) provides, in relevant part, that:

The Commission, with due regard to the public interest and without preliminary hearing, may, by order, . . . suspend from appearing or practicing before it any . . . accountant . . . who has been by name . . . permanently enjoined by any court of competent jurisdiction, by reason of his or her misconduct in an action brought by the Commission, from violating or aiding and abetting the violation of any provision of the Federal securities laws or of the rules and regulations thereunder.

 

http://www.sec.gov/litigation/admin/34-48537.htm


Modified: 10/2/2003