Executives ordered to repay bonuses for alleged fraud


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The Independent Online

American regulators last night filed charges against four former executives accused of orchestrating a fraud in the Sheffield subsidiary of a Nasdaq-listed medical devices company.

Thornton Precision Components, a UK subsidiary of Symmetry Medical, reported fake profit figures in 2005 and 2006, artificially inflating the bonuses of the executives there, according to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The four executives – Richard Senior, Matthew Bell, Lynne Norman, and Shaun Whiteley – agreed to settle the SEC's charges.

The regulator also forced the two most senior executives at the US parent company to repay the parts of their bonus that were inflated by the fraud. Brian Moore, the former chief executive, and Fred Hite, chief financial officer, will return $450,000 (£286,000) and $185,000, respectively, under provisions in the post-Enron Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which requires directors to personally certify the accuracy of a corporation's accounts.

The SEC also banned two of Thornton's outside auditors from practising before the SEC for the next two years.