Two former CFOs have agreed to return nearly a half-million dollars in bonuses and stock sale profits they received while their Silicon Valley software company, Saba Software, was committing accounting fraud.
While not personally charged with the company’s misconduct, the SEC’s position is the two CFOs are still required under Section 304 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to reimburse the company for bonuses and stock sale profits received while the fraud occurred.
Senior employees responsible for the fraud were told on multiple occasions by the finance department that the company’s accountants and auditors needed to understand exactly how many hours were being worked and when (regardless of whether or not they were billed to the customer) in order to ensure that revenue was recognized accurately, and they understood that inaccurate time-keeping would lead to misstatements in Saba’s reported professional services revenue and violate the Company’s policies regarding financial reporting.
The two CFOs each consented to the entry of the SEC’s order without admitting or denying the finding that they violated Section 304 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Last year, the SEC charged Saba Software and two former executives responsible for the accounting fraud in which timesheets were falsified to hit quarterly financial targets. As part of that settlement, the SEC similarly reached an agreement with the former CEO to reimburse the company $2.5 million in bonuses and stock profits that he received while the accounting fraud was occurring, even though he was not charged with misconduct.
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