Securities Law Prof Blog

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

Monday, April 19, 2010

SEC and Stockman Settle Collins & Aikman Fraud Charges

The SEC reached settlements in SEC v. Collins & Aikman Corp., et al., No. 07-CV-2419 (SAS) (S.D.N.Y.) with defendants David A. Stockman ("Stockman"), J. Michael Stepp ("Stepp"), Elkin B. McCallum ("McCallum"), David R. Cosgrove ("Cosgrove"), and Paul C. Barnaba ("Barnaba"), all former executives or board members of Collins & Aikman Corporation ("C&A"), an auto parts supplier that went bankrupt in 2005. The proposed settlements are subject to Court approval.

The SEC's complaint alleges that Stockman participated in fraudulent rebate transactions, joined by Stepp, McCallum, Cosgrove, and Barnaba, to inflate C&A's reported income between 2001 and 2004. The complaint alleges that Stockman and other defendants obtained false documents from suppliers designed to mislead C&A's external auditors and caused C&A to file financial statements with the SEC that materially misrepresented C&A's financial results. According to the complaint, during the time Stockman was engaged in this conduct, he was collecting millions of dollars in management fees C&A paid Stockman's private equity fund, Heartland Industrial Partners.

Pursuant to the settlement, Stockman has agreed to pay $7.2 million, comprised of $400,000 in civil penalties, disgorgement of $4,424,000, and prejudgment interest of $2,376,000, with the disgorgement and prejudgment interest obligations subject to an offset of up to $4.4 million for payments Stockman makes to settle two securities class action lawsuits against him seeking recovery of the same money as the Commission. Stepp and McCallum have each agreed to pay a civil penalty of $75,000, Cosgrove has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $40,000, and Barnaba has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $20,000.

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