U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Litigation Release No. 18692 / May 4, 2004
Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Release No. 2001 / May 4, 2004
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Phillip E. White, Civil Action No. C-02-5538 (N.D. Cal. Filed May 4, 2004)
Phillip E. White, Former Informix Corporation Chairman, CEO, and President, Consents to Permanent Injunction Based on Charges of Fraud and Other Federal Securities Law Violations
The Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission") announced today that Phillip E. White ("White"), formerly President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Informix Corporation, consented to a final judgment permanently enjoining White from violating, or aiding and abetting violations of, Sections 10(b), 13(a), 13(b)(2)(A), and 13(b)(5) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act"); Exchange Act Rules 10b-5, 12b-20, 13a-1, 13b2-1, and 13b2-2; and Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act"). Separately, White pleaded guilty on December 18, 2003 to one count of criminal securities fraud in an action brought by the Office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California based on some of the same facts underlying the Commission's civil action. White is scheduled to be sentenced in the criminal matter on May 12, 2004.
The Commission instituted this action against White in November 2002 and filed its Amended Complaint today. In its Amended Complaint, the Commission alleges that White concealed secret side agreements to software licensing contracts on which Informix had improperly recognized revenue in its financial statements for its fiscal year ended December 31, 1996. To further his scheme, White made false statements and representations concerning the existence of these secret side agreements to members of Informix's financial staff and to Informix's independent auditors. White did this to avoid triggering a restatement of Informix's 1996 financial statements. When the side agreements were discovered, Informix's Board of Directors forced White to resign. Informix ultimately restated its 1996 financial statements to reflect substantial decreases in its earnings and income caused by, among other things, discovery of the side agreements White concealed and various other side agreements. Informix's amended 1996 Form 10-K revealed that, instead of earning net income of $97.8 million as Informix originally reported, Informix suffered a net loss of $73.6 million in 1996. According to the Amended Complaint, White violated, or aided and abetted violations of, antifraud, reporting, and record-keeping provisions of the Securities Act and Exchange Act. White consented to the final judgment without admitting or denying the allegations in the Commission's Amended Complaint.
The civil and criminal actions against White are the result of investigations by the Commission, the Office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California, and the San Francisco office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Previously, the Commission instituted and simultaneously settled an administrative proceeding against Informix. See Informix Corp., Admin. Proc. No. 3-10130; SA Rel. No. 33-7788; SEA Rel. No. 34-42326; AAE Rel. No. 1215 (Jan. 11, 2000). The Commission also previously filed a civil complaint, and obtained a default judgment, against Walter Königseder, an Informix Vice President. See SEC v. Walter Konigseder, Civil Action No. 00-3668 (MJJ) (N.D. CAL. MAY 17, 2001) (Order), Lit. Rel. No. 17016, AAE Rel. No. 1398 (May 23, 2001). For the original litigation release concerning the Commission's action against White, see Lit. Rel. No. 17855, AAE Rel. No. 1671 (Nov. 21, 2003).