The Other Side of the Cucuz Verdict

As previously discussed here, on Wednesday of last week a federal court jury in Detroit found the former CEO and CFO of auto supplier Hayes Lemmerz International Inc. liable on certain allegations in a case brought by the SEC.  The SEC said the jury verdicts against former CEO Ranko “Ron” Cucuz and former CFO William Shovers demonstrated that “senior executives who learn that their company is cooking the books cannot just cover it up or hide their heads in the sand.”

Here’s the other side of the coin courtesy of Cucuz himself.  In his own press release, Cucuz announced yesterday that “a federal jury rejected claims of intentional misconduct brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission against Ranko “Ron” Cucuz, the former CEO of Hayes Lemmerz International (HAYZ).”

Cucuz stated that “contrary to several earlier media reports, the jury did not agree and in fact found in favor of Cucuz on each of these claim. They did find Cucuz to have been negligent in his handling of accounting issues, essentially saying they believed as CEO, Cucuz should have been aware of the actions of other employees in the company. U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Tarnow previously had thrown out additional claims brought against Cucuz by the SEC.”

“I always believed that the SEC overreached in pursuing me in this matter,” Cucuz said following the verdict. “I always knew I did nothing intentionally wrong and I am pleased the jury has agreed.”

Read the Cucuz press release