The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) settled an enforcement action March 31 against Thomas & Betts Corp. (T&B), two former executives and a current vice president for allegedly falsifying records and overstating income in the late 1990s.
The Memphis-based company, the former executives, Neil Parker and Robin Gregersen, and the current executive, Robert Calhoun, all settled without admitting or denying any wrongdoing, the SEC said in a statement.
In a civil complaint filed in the federal district in Washington, the SEC alleged from late 1998 through early 2000, officers at the T&B's Electrical Component Group “knowingly engaged in conduct that circumvented T&B's internal controls and falsified T&B's books, records and accounts.” As a result, T&B overstated its pretax income from late 1998 through early 2000.
In March 2001, the company restated its financial statements for several periods between 1996 and the fiscal second quarter of 2000. The total amount of restatements reduced T&B's pretax income by $114.1 million.
Kevin Dunnigan, T&B chairman and chief executive, said the settlement fully concludes the matters that have been under investigation since September 2000 after the company said in August 2000 it would restate results.
“The actions cited by the SEC occurred during the tenure of the company's former executive management team,” Dunnigan said. “The current executive management team has worked diligently over the past two-and-a-half years to ensure that Thomas & Betts has effective and comprehensive controls in all areas of its business.”
T&B, which restated financial statements in March 2001, said Dunnigan and its chief financial officer have certified the company's 2001 and 2002 statements.
According to a Reuters report, attorneys for Calhoun and Gregersen said their clients are glad the matter is behind them. The Reuters report said Parker's lawyers declined to comment.