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In the Matter of Michael Mendes Admin. Proc. File No. 3-15674

Sept. 21, 2022

SEC v. Steven Neil
Case No. 14-cv-00122-WHA (N.D. Cal.)

On January 9, 2014, the Commission filed separate actions against Diamond Foods, Inc. ("Diamond"), a snack food company, and its former CEO, Michael Mendes ("Mendes"), and its former CFO, Steven Neil ("Neil"), for their roles in an accounting scheme to falsify walnut costs in order to boost earnings and meet estimates by stock analysts for fiscal quarters in 2010 and 2011. See Diamond's ComplaintMendes' Order, and Neil's Complaint.

Collectively, Diamond, Mendes, and Neil were ordered to and have paid a total of $5,250,000.00 in penalties (the "Distribution Fund"). See Diamond's Final JudgmentNeil's Final JudgmentMendes' Final Judgment.

On October 18, 2016, the Court appointed Damasco & Associates LLP as the Tax Administrator to fulfill the tax obligations of the Distribution Fund. 

On November 4, 2016, the Court created a Fair Fund for the $5,250,000.00 paid by Diamond, Mendes, and Neil to be distributed to harmed investors and appointed Kurtzman Carson Consultants as the Distribution Agent to oversee the distribution of the Fair Fund. See Order to Establish Fair Fund and Appoint a Distribution Agent.

On November 30, 2018, the Commission filed a motion to approve a distribution plan, together with the distribution plan (the “Plan”). See the Commission’s Motion and the Plan.

The Plan provides that the distribution of the Fair Fund shall be made on a pro rata basis to investors harmed by the conduct alleged in the Complaint. 

On December 18, 2018, the Court entered an order approving the Plan. See the Court’s Order

Claim forms must be postmarked no later than July 29, 2019. The claim form can be found here

For more information, please contact the Distribution Agent:

Kurtzman Carson Consultants, LLC 
Telephone Number: 866-677-0654


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