Accounting & Tax

Ex-Cendant CFO Avoids Prison

''I realize it was very wrong," Cosmo Corigliano reportedly tells the judge. ''My one wish is I had clarity of mind.''
Stephen TaubJanuary 30, 2007

The final major figure to be sentenced in the Cendant accounting scandal will spend no time behind bars.

Former chief financial officer Cosmo Corigliano will serve three years of probation, including six months of home confinement with electronic monitoring, and 300 hours of community service, reported the Associated Press.

Corigliano, who pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud in June 2000, fought back tears during his appearance after apologizing and taking full responsibility for his actions, according to the AP.

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“I realize it was very wrong,” Corigliano reportedly told the judge. “My one wish is I had clarity of mind.”

Both prosecutor Michael Martinez and Senior U.S. District Judge Alan H. Nevas acknowledged that the Corigliano played a crucial role in the trial of Cendant’s former chairman. “Without your testimony, I don’t think Walter Forbes could have been convicted,” Nevas reportedly said. “You were the only witness that was kind of inside the corporate hierarchy.”

Nevas also pointed out that Corigliano had paid $14 million to settle civil charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

On Monday, two other figures in the Cendant scandal avoided prison time, according to the AP. Anne Pember, a former controller with CUC International, which merged with HFS Inc. to form Cendant in December 1997, was sentenced to two years of probation and 200 hours of community service; Casper Sabatino, the CUC accountant in charge of external reporting, also received two years of probation.