Jury convicts Graham-Field CEO of stock fraud

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Sunday, June 13, 2004

June 14, 2004

ATLANTA - Although a federal jury convicted Irwin Selinger of conspiracy and stock fraud charges last week, the embattled CEO will stay on as CEO of Graham-Field, the company announced in a release Thursday.
“This development will have absolutely no impact on the company’s growth plans or our ability to service our customers,” Lawrence de la Haba, Graham-Field’s vice president of marketing, said in a statement. “The owners remain fully committed to the company and its management. While we are deeply disappointed with the decision, we have a strong management team in place with extensive industry knowledge that has a business to run.”
Selinger, 64, was found guilty of charges that as CEO in 1997 he fraudulently inflated Graham-Field’s profits in order to improve the company’s financial health in a stock-swap deal for Fuqua Enterprises, the parent company of Lumex.
After four weeks of testimony, the jury deliberated for three days before declaring that it was deadlocked, according to Selinger’s attorney, Gerald Walpin. At that point, Walpin said the judge gave the jury the so-called ‘Allen charge,’ which instructs the jury to return a verdict one way or the other.
“Clearly, there was substantial dispute and doubt in the jury,” said Walpin. “We believe [the verdict] is against the weight of the evidence.”
Walpin plans to make a post-trial motion, asking the judge to overturn the conviction. If the post-trial motions fail, Selinger will seek an appeal.
Selinger faces up to 10 years in prison if he is sentenced Oct. 1.

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