The former CEO of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. settled civil fraud charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission stemming from allegations that he misrepresented more than $1.2 million of travel and entertainment expenses.
Under the deal, Michael J. Snyder consented to the entry of a final judgment permanently enjoining him from violating or aiding and abetting violations of the federal securities laws, without admitting or denying the allegations in the Commission’s complaint. He also agreed to pay a $250,000 civil penalty and to an officer and director bar.
The SEC charged that Snyder misrepresented personal travel expenses as business expenses to Red Robin and its accountants, causing Red Robin to fail to report material amounts of Snyder’s compensation in SEC filings for the years 2002 through 2004.
Red Robin owns and franchises a chain of restaurants in the United States and Canada.
According to the complaint, during 2002, 2003 and 2004, Snyder incurred personal travel expenses of roughly $1.2 million for charter jet travel, and hotel and dinner expenses.
The complaint alleges that Snyder submitted expense reports and invoices to Red Robin for payment of these personal expenses, misrepresenting that a business purpose existed for the charter jet trips and hotel and dinner expenses, failing to report the presence of personal guests on the trips, and failing to accurately report the destinations of the charter flights.