Judge fines former Terex CFO $100K in accounting scheme
A judge has ruled against the former chief financial officer of Westport-based Terex Corp. and penalized him $100,000 on charges of aiding a fraudulent accounting scheme.
Judge Alvin W. Thompson, of the U.S. District Court for Connecticut, on Sept. 8 entered a judgment against Joseph F. Apuzzo, who did not admit or deny allegations against him by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The commission’s complaint, filed on Dec. 27, 2007, charged Apuzzo with aiding a fraudulent accounting scheme involving two sale-leaseback transactions, carried out between 2000 and 2002 by United Rentals and its former CFO, Michael J. Nolan.
Apuzzo is also suspended from appearing or practicing before the commission as an accountant for five years.
The transactions were structured to improve URI’s 2000 and 2001 financial results by allowing URI to recognize revenue prematurely and to inflate the profit generated from the sales.
The complaint also alleges that Apuzzo substantially assisted URI and Nolan in implementing the fraudulent scheme by, among other things, signing agreements with URI that he knew or should have known were designed to hide URI’s continuing risks and financial obligations relating to the sale-leaseback transactions, and directing or approving the issuance of inflated invoices that he knew or should have known URI, through Nolan and others, would use to inflate URI’s gain on the transactions.
In 2008, United Rentals agreed to pay $14 million to claims brought by the SEC.
A federal judge in Connecticut had dismissed the lawsuit against Apuzzo in 2010, but two years later an appeals court reinstated it.
Terex manufactures equipment for construction, shipping and other industries. The company, which employs about 20,400 people in 50 countries, reported sales of $7.3 billion in 2014.
In August, Terex announced it was merging with Konecranes, of Finland. Konecranes Terex will list dual headquarters in Westport and Hyvinkää, Finland, and be incorporated in Finland.
Konecranes has about 11,900 employees at 600 locations in 48 countries.