| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Oct 17 Lime Energy Co and
four former executives have agreed to settle civil charges that
they were involved in an accounting fraud at the energy services
provider, U.S. regulators said on Monday.
Lime Energy has agreed to pay $1 million to resolve a
lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in
Manhattan federal court accusing it of improperly booking $20
million in revenue from 2010 to 2012, the agency said.
"Lime Energy and its then executives engaged in a wide array
of wrongdoing, including the improper reporting of a
significant amount of fake revenue," Scott Friestad, the SEC's
associate director of enforcement, said in a statement.
The SEC also reached deals with Joaquin Alberto Dos Santos
Almeida, an ex-vice president of operations; Karan Raina, an
ex-director of operations; Julianne Chandler, a former corporate
controller; and James Smith, an ex-executive vice president.
Newark, New Jersey-based Lime Energy did not immediately
respond to a request for comment. Lawyers for the executives
either declined comment or had not immediate comment.
According to the SEC, while working in Lime's utilities
division, Almeida and Raina began recognizing millions of
dollars of revenue on newly signed contracts earlier than
Both became even more aggressive in 2011 and 2012 as they
further recognized revenue earlier than allowed, eventually
directing company accountants to book revenue on non-existent
jobs, the SEC said.
The regulator further alleged that Chandler accepted new
accounting entries for millions of dollars in additional 2011
revenue after the year-end close.
With the company needing $500,000 more to meet its 2011
revenue target, Smith in February 2012 sent Chandler new entries
that provided Lime with even more revenue to improperly
recognize, the SEC said.
Under the settlements, Smith and Chandler agreed to a
five-year bar on serving as an officer of a publicly-traded
company and to pay $50,000 and $25,000, respectively. Chandler
also agreed to be suspended from appearing before the SEC as an
Almeida agreed to a permanent officer-and-director bar, and
Raina agreed to pay $50,000, the SEC said. All four
ex-executives neither admitted nor denied the allegations.
The case is U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Lime
Energy Co, et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New
York, No. 16-08088.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Frances