Securities Law Prof Blog

Editor: Eric C. Chaffee
Univ. of Toledo College of Law

Friday, March 14, 2008

Former Lason Executives Settle Accounting Fraud Charges

The SEC settled fraud charges against Gary L. Monroe, William J. Rauwerdink, John R. Messinger, and Robert T. Bassman, the former CEO, CFO, COO and Controller, respectively, of Lason, Inc., a document management company based in Troy, Michigan. The Final Judgment against Bassman orders him to pay disgorgement and prejudgment interest of $240,761.70, payment of all but $35,000 of which is waived on the basis of his financial condition. The defendants consented to the entry of the Final Judgments without admitting or denying the allegations against them.

The SEC alleged that during 1998 and 1999, the defendants engaged in a fraudulent scheme to overstate Lason’s earnings in order to meet or exceed Wall Street expectations. The scheme culminated in the third quarter of 1999, when Lason’s earnings were overstated by approximately 65%.

The defendants profited from the scheme through their salaries as well as bonuses, stock options and executive loans that were affected by Lason’s artificially inflated stock price.
In 2007, in a related criminal action, Monroe and Messinger pled guilty to making false statements to a federal agency (the Commission) and Rauwerdink pled guilty to conspiracy and making false statements to a federal agency. Monroe, Messinger and Rauwerdink were sentenced to 15 months, 12 months, and 45 months imprisonment respectively. In addition, Monroe and Messinger were ordered to pay restitution of $20 million, and Rauwerdink was ordered to pay restitution of $285 million.

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