Accounting & Tax

Former Cendant Controller Gets Probation

Sentence is undoubtedly encouraging to former chief financial officer Cosmo Corigliano, who learns his fate Tuesday.
Stephen TaubJanuary 29, 2007

Two more participants in the Cendant accounting scandal were sentenced Monday, and both avoided prison time.

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, according to the Associated Press.

Pember, who reportedly became Cendant’s senior vice president for accounting, had pleaded guilty to fraud in 2000.

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The AP noted that both prosecutors and the presiding judge agreed with her request to be spared prison time, citing her extensive cooperation with federal investigators. “I think your cooperation and your testimony was quite extraordinary,” Senior U.S. District Judge Alan H. Nevas reportedly observed.

Pember faced up to five years, as did Casper Sabatino, the CUC accountant in charge of external reporting. Sabatino also pleaded guilty in 2000 to a single count of fraud; on Monday, he too received two years of probation, according to the AP.

The sentences are undoubtedly encouraging to Cosmo Corigliano, Cendant’s former chief financial officer, who is also seeking probation after cooperating with prosecutors. Corigliano testified in the trials that ultimately led to the convictions of former chairman Walter Forbes and former vice chairman E. Kirk Shelton. Earlier this month, Forbes was sentenced to 12 years and seven months in prison, while Shelton received 10 years; each was ordered to pay $3.275 billion in restitution.

Under sentencing guidelines, Corigliano faces between 6 1/2 and 8 years in prison when he faces Judge Nevas on Tuesday, according to the AP.