Ex-Polycom CEO to Pay $450,000 Fine in SEC Case
The former CEO of video conferencing technology vendor Polycom reportedly will pay a $450,000 fine to settle a lawsuit brought by federal regulators that accused him of using company money for personal expenses and then covering up the scheme by filing false documents.
According to a report in Reuters, Andrew Miller—who left the company in 2013 after an investigation by an audit committee of Polycom's board of directors found what it called "certain irregularities in Mr. Miller's expense submissions"—did not deny or admit to the charges against him, according to papers filed last week in District Court in California by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
In addition to the fine, Miller also agreed to not serve as an officer at a publicly traded company for five years, according to the report.
Miller came to Polycom in 2009 and was named CEO a year later. According to the SEC, during his time with the company, Miller used company funds to pay for personal expenses, ranging from travel and entertainment to meals, gifts and services, such as the $5,000 spent for plants and a plant-watering service at his apartment, according to regulators.
In all, Miller was accused of using more than $200,000 of Polycom's corporate money for perks that weren't reported to investors.
He attempted to hide the spending by falsifying business documents, including expense reports, between 2010 and July 2013, when he left Polycom. Polycom's board replaced Miller with Peter Leav in December 2013.
Among the accusations levied against Miller was that his actions violated regulations that required that he and Polycom disclose such perks to investors. Polycom last year agreed to pay a $750,000 fine to settle charges that the SEC filed against the company, accusing it of having inadequate internal controls and failing to inform investors of Miller's personal perks. Like Miller, Polycom officials did not deny or admit to the charges when the company agreed to the fine.
Polycom executives announced Jan. 26 that fourth-quarter 2015 revenues came in at $316.8 million, a 9 percent decrease from the same period a year earlier. Net income was $32.1 million, a year-over-year drop of 4 percent.