The Securities and Trade Fee has filed civil charges in opposition to SAExploration Holdings, a publicly traded seismic knowledge acquisition enterprise primarily based in Houston, about an alleged multi-year accounting fraud that falsely inflated the company’s profits and concealed the theft of tens of millions of bucks.
In a complaint filed in the Southern District of New York, the SEC mentioned senior executives engaged in an “elaborate, four-year-lengthy fraud.” It names former chief executive officer and chairman Jeffrey Hastings, former chief economical officer and general counsel Brent Whiteley, former CEO and chief operating officer Brian Beatty, and former vice president of functions Michael Scott as defendants. It also names the spouses of Hastings and Whiteley, Lori Hastings and Thomas O’Neill, as reduction defendants.
The executives allegedly entered into a sequence of seismic knowledge acquisition contracts totaling about $one hundred forty million with a purportedly unrelated Alaska-primarily based enterprise that was in fact controlled by Hastings and Whiteley. The defendants allegedly misappropriated nearly $6 million from SAE and used the resources for a sequence of spherical-excursion transactions then stole about $6 million for them selves. Whiteley allegedly misappropriated an further $4 million through a separate fictitious invoice plan.
The U.S. Attorney’s Place of work for the Southern District of New York introduced legal charges in opposition to Hastings in a parallel motion.
Hastings was arrested final thirty day period in Anchorage, Alaska. A spokesperson for the enterprise mentioned he was place on administrative go away additional than a year in the past and then resigned.
“As alleged in our complaint, SAE’s executives developed a multi-faceted fraud that enriched executives at the expense of investors,” Jennifer Leete, an associate director in the division of enforcement, mentioned in a assertion. “We will vigorously go after wrongdoing by individuals and businesses who interact in fraud and mislead investors.”
The SEC is trying to find a long-lasting injunction in opposition to SAE and executives, civil penalties, disgorgement and business office-and-director bars in opposition to the executives.