U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 23247 / April 27, 2015
Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Release No. AAER-3653 / April 27, 2015
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Robert Asti, Civil Action No. 03-CV-1417 (LDW)(EDNY)
Former Symbol Technologies Executive Settles SEC Action Thus Concluding a Long-Running 14-Defendant Accounting Litigation
The Honorable Leonard D. Wexler, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York, has entered a final consent judgment against Robert Asti, a former executive of Symbol Technologies, Inc. ("Symbol") and the last remaining defendant in the SEC's multiple enforcement actions involving the widespread accounting fraud at Symbol.
The Commission's complaint against Asti alleges that from 1999 through March 2001, Asti participated in fraudulent revenue recognition practices, including quarter-end "stuffing" of Symbol's distribution channel to help meet revenue and earnings targets imposed by Symbol's CEO. The final judgment, to which Asti consented, permanently enjoins him from violating Sections 10(b) and 13b(5) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Rules 10b-5 and 13b2-1, and from aiding and abetting violations of Sections 13(a) and 13(b)(2) of the Exchange Act and Rules 12b-20, 13a-1 and 13a-13, and it permanently bars him from serving as an officer or director of a public company. The judgment also requires Asti to pay disgorgement and prejudgment interest of $90,952, and it forgoes imposition of a civil monetary penalty based on Asti's early and substantial cooperation with the Commission staff and the criminal authorities, as well as his guilty plea and sentence to three years' probation in a parallel criminal action brought by the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York ("USAO").
The Commission has now obtained final judgments against all thirteen former Symbol executives named as defendants in three separate actions filed in connection with the Symbol accounting fraud, including Symbol's chief executive officer, chief financial officer, two chief accounting officers, the company's general counsel and its head of sales. Symbol also entered into a final consent judgment, pursuant to which the company paid a $37 million civil penalty that was distributed to the victims of the fraud. SEC v. Symbol Technologies, Inc., et al., 04 CV 2276 (SJF)(EDNY). The fourteen final judgments obtained by the Commission in the Symbol litigation imposed, in addition to non-monetary sanctions, a total of approximately $131 million in disgorgement, prejudgment interest and civil penalties. The Commission is now pursuing collection of the final judgment imposed against Symbol's former CEO, Tomo Razmilovic, who remains a fugitive living in Sweden and under indictment by the USAO. The judgment against Razmilovic, in addition to imposing non-monetary sanctions, requires him to pay disgorgement, prejudgment interest and civil penalties totaling approximately $90 million. The judgment was affirmed on appeal in nearly all respects by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the Supreme Court denied Razmilovic's petition for a writ of certiorari.
The Commission acknowledges the assistance and cooperation of the USAO and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in this matter.