Accounting & Tax

Former Symbol Finance Exec Pleads Guilty

The plea by Christopher DeSantis comes a few weeks before the January 3 trial of former chief financial officer Kenneth Jaeggi.
Stephen TaubDecember 19, 2005

Another former finance executive of Symbol Technologies Inc. has pleaded guilty for his role in the bar-code company’s massive accounting fraud.

Christopher DeSantis, once the vice president of worldwide sales and finance, pleaded guilty to a single count of intentionally concealing knowledge of a felony, according to Newsday. DeSantis admitted that he knew about improperly booked sales in 2001 and that he directed a Symbol employee to remove records of those transactions from the company’s Holtsville, New York, headquarters, according to the Long Island-based newspaper.

“As a result of those [improperly booked] transactions, I understood that Symbol’s public reporting was inaccurate,” he reportedly told district judge Leonard Wexler. “Rather than reporting what I understood to be a crime to the appropriate authorities, I instead decided to try to correct the situation internally. In addition, I instructed one of my subordinates to remove from Symbol’s premises files left behind … which I believe evidenced such transactions.”

Drive Business Strategy and Growth

Drive Business Strategy and Growth

Learn how NetSuite Financial Management allows you to quickly and easily model what-if scenarios and generate reports.

DeSantis faces as much as three years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, according to the report.

His plea, the sixth by a former executive of the company, comes a few weeks before the January 3 trial of three of his former colleagues: chief financial officer Kenneth Jaeggi, senior vice president of finance Michael DeGennaro, and senior vice president and general manager Frank Borghese. DeSantis’s lawyer, however, told the paper that his client is not expected to be a cooperating government witness.

In June 2004, Symbol agreed to pay $138 million to settle criminal and civil investigations as well as shareholder lawsuits for a “textbook example of a company cooking the books,” as one government official described it at the time.

4 Powerful Communication Strategies for Your Next Board Meeting