NEWS16 March 2010

Former InfoGroup chief to pay $7.4m to settle SEC charges

Legal North America

US— Former InfoGroup chairman and CEO Vin Gupta has agreed to pay $7.4m to settle charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which accused him of treating the firm “like it was his personal ATM”.

The SEC said that Gupta (pictured) fraudulently used company funds to support a “lavish lifestyle” and caused the company to enter into $9.3m of undisclosed business transactions with other companies in which Gupta had a personal stake.

Along with Gupta, the SEC charged the former chairman of InfoGroup’s audit committee, Vasant Raval, and former CFOs Rajnish Das and Stormy Dean for enabling Gupta to carry out the scheme.

Robert Khuzami, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said: “Gupta stole millions from Info shareholders by treating the company like it was his personal ATM. Other corporate officers also abused their positions of trust by looking the other way instead of standing up for investors and bringing the scheme to a halt.”

As well as the fine, Gupta has agreed to an order barring him from serving as an officer or director of a public company. Raval has agreed to a similar order, and will pay a penalty of $50,000.

The SEC’s case against Das and Dean is ongoing.