SEC Obtains Final Judgement for Ryan Petersen
On July 5, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced that it has obtained a final judgment against Ryan Petersen, the former chief executive officer of OCZ Technology Group Inc. whom the SEC charged with an accounting fraud at the now-bankrupt seller of computer memory storage and power supply devices.
The final judgment, entered by the Honorable Richard Seeborg, U.S. District Judge, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on June 30, 2017, permanently enjoins Ryan Petersen from violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Sections 10(b) and 13(b)(5) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Exchange Act Rules 10b-5, 13a-14, 13b2-1, and 13b2-2, and aiding and abetting violations of Exchange Act Sections 13(a), 13(b)(2)(A) and 13(b)(2)(B), and Exchange Act Rules 12b-20, 13a-1, 13a-11, and 13a-13. The judgment also bars Petersen from acting as an officer or director of a public company, and orders him to pay $121,600 in disgorgement and relief pursuant to Section 304(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, prejudgment interest on the disgorgement of $18,400, and a civil penalty in the amount of $100,000. Petersen consented to the final judgment.The court’s entry of the judgment against Petersen resolves this litigation in its entirety.
The SEC charged Ryan Petersen with engaging in a scheme to materially inflate OCZ’s revenues and gross margins from 2010 to 2012. The agency separately charged OCZ’s former chief financial officer, Arthur Knapp, with certain accounting, disclosure, and internal accounting controls failures at OCZ. Knapp agreed to settle the SEC’s charges without admitting or denying the allegations against him and, on October 23, 2015, the SEC suspended Knapp from appearing or practicing before the SEC as an accountant, which includes not participating in the financial reporting or audits of public companies. On August 29, 2106, the SEC suspended Thomas Dulek, a California-based accountant, from appearing and practicing before the SEC as an accountant, which includes not participating in the financial reporting or audits of public companies, based on his violations of important auditing standards. The SEC’s investigation found that Dulek conducted deficient audits of OCZ’s financial statements for fiscal years 2011 and 2012.
For further information about this securities law blog post, please contact Brenda Hamilton, Securities Attorney at 101 Plaza Real S, Suite 202 N, Boca Raton, Florida, (561) 416-8956, or [email protected]. This securities law blog post is provided as a general informational service to clients and friends of Hamilton & Associates Law Group and should not be construed as, and does not constitute legal advice on any specific matter, nor does this message create an attorney-client relationship. Please note that the prior results discussed herein do not guarantee similar outcomes.
Hamilton & Associates | Securities Lawyers
Brenda Hamilton, Securities Attorney
101 Plaza Real South, Suite 202 North
Boca Raton, Florida 33432
Telephone: (561) 416-8956
Facsimile: (561) 416-2855