Diebold takes/took $25 million hit


Maybe I haven’t been paying enough attention, but it seems like news that Diebold is paying a $25 million settlement to the SEC, though this was apparently decided a year ago. No link, because it’s password-protected, but here are the details:

NORTH CANTON, Ohio, June 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Diebold, Incorporated (NYSE:DBD) , today announced that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed settlement materials finalizing the previously announced agreement in principle with the company. The settlement relates to an inquiry conducted by the SEC’s Division of Enforcement during the last several years. On May 4, 2009, Diebold announced it had reached an agreement in principle with the SEC staff, concluding the SEC’s investigation with respect to the company. Today, the SEC filed paperwork in federal court finalizing the settlement.

Under the terms of the settlement, the company has consented, without admitting or denying civil securities fraud charges, to a judgment requiring payment of a civil penalty of $25 million and an injunction against committing or causing any violations or future violations of certain specified provisions of the federal securities laws. The company anticipates payment of the penalty to the SEC in the near term. As previously announced, Diebold recorded a charge of $25 million to its 2009 first quarter earnings in connection with the penalty to be paid to the SEC. The settlement does not impact or alter the restatement of financials filed by the company in September 2008. Additionally, as previously disclosed in May 2009, Diebold was informed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio that it will not bring criminal charges against the company in connection with the transactions that were the subject of the SEC investigation.

I love that bolded part: “We’re not admitting we did anything wrong, we’re just paying a $25 million settlement. You know, because.”

The settlement finalized today involves Diebold, Incorporated, and does not include as parties any of the company’s former chief financial officers or former employees who previously received individual Wells notices from the SEC in March 2009.

“We are pleased that the settlement with the SEC is final,” said Thomas W. Swidarski, Diebold president and chief executive officer. “Moving forward, we will continue to direct our energy and focus toward the essential work of improving our competitive position and creating value for all our stakeholders while maintaining effective financial controls within our processes.”

Eh. Water under the bridge, I guess. But I never knew about it before.