Irwin Selinger sentenced to 18 months in prison

Sunday, April 24, 2005

ATLANTA -- Irwin Selinger, the president and CEO of Graham-Field Health Products, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years probation April 15 for fraudulently inflating the company's stock in 1997.

Federal prosecutors said Selinger, 64, led a scheme to fraudulently inflate the company's stock at a time when he was working to acquire Delaware-based Fuqua Industries. The deal depended on keeping Graham-Field's stock above a certain level, and Selinger attempted to do so by inflating his firm's income, prosecutors said.

In 1998, GF collapsed into bankruptcy and Selinger was forced to resign as Graham-Field's stock dropped from $20 a share to pennies

Following the sentencing last week by U.S. District Judge Denis Hurley, Selinger stated that he strongly contests his conviction and intends to seek an immediate stay of his sentence pending his appeal before the U. S. Court of Appeals.

Lawrence de la Haba, G-F's vice president of marketing said the company has been preparing for all possible scenarios for some time.

Graham-Field has already implemented a new strategic plan that involves the creation of three business units reflecting the three distinct markets in which the company competes, he said. Each of these units is being managed by a senior executive of the company. This plan is intended to increase GF's focus on its customers in the homecare, long term care and primary care markets.

"Our main investors have approved the plan and have committed to provide the necessary financing," de la Haba said. "The Board of Directors is excited about the company's prospects and is prepared to continue to finance and support the company whatever the ultimate outcome is relative to Mr. Selinger."