U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Litigation Release No. 18162 / May 30, 2003
Accountng and Auditing Enforcement Release No. 1791 / May 30, 2003
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Umesh Malhotra, Paul Chopra, and David Manigault, Civil Action No. 1:03CV00211 (D.D.C.) (filed February 10, 2003).
Court Enters Judgment Against Three Former Senior Officers of COHR, Inc. For Securities Fraud
COHR's Former Chief Financial Officer Is Suspended By The Commission From Appearing Or Practicing Before It As An Accountant
On May 20, 2003, the Honorable Ricardo M. Urbina, United States District Judge for the District of Columbia, entered Judgments of Permanent Injunction and Other Relief against three former senior officers of COHR, Inc. ("COHR"). The Commission previously filed a settled action on February 10, 2003, alleging that Umesh Malhotra ("Malhotra"), Paul Chopra, and David Manigault ("Manigault") had defrauded investors from 1996 through 1998 by improperly recognizing revenue in violation of generally accepted accounting principles and by engaging in other accounting tricks that fraudulently inflated COHR's revenue and pre-tax profit.
All three defendants, without admitting or denying the Commission's allegations in the Complaint, consented to the entry of the Judgments, which enjoined them from violating the federal securities laws. In addition, Malhotra was ordered to pay a civil penalty of $32,500 and to be permanently barred from serving as an officer or director of any public company. Manigault also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $25,000. [SEC v. Umesh Malhotra, Paul Chopra and David Manigault, Civil Action No. 1:03CV00211 (D.D.C.) (filed February 10, 2003); Litigation Release No. 17979, February 11, 2003]
The Complaint alleged that all three defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 13(b)(5) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Exchange Act Rules 10b-5, 13b2-1 and 13b2-2. The Complaint also alleged that all three defendants aided and abetted COHR's violations of Sections 13(a), 13(b)(2)(A) and 13(b)(2)(B) of the Exchange Act and Exchange Act Rules 12b-20, 13a-1, and 13a-13.
On May 30, 2003, based on the entry of the final judgment against Malhotra, the Commission also instituted settled administrative proceedings against Malhotra pursuant to Section 102(e)(3) of the Commission's Rules of Practice. Without admitting or denying the Commission's findings, Malhotra consented to the entry of the Commission's Order, which suspends him from the privilege of appearing or practicing before the Commission as an accountant.