The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced it was charging Frank Okunak, the former Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of a subsidiary of a public global advertising and marketing company, with falsifying books and records and circumventing accounting controls to misappropriate more than $16 million for his benefit.
The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal court in Manhattan, alleges that Okunak directed the creation of, and in some cases approved for processing and payment, falsified purchase orders and invoices that purported to relate to services being performed for his employer, but in reality did not. As described in the complaint, the purchase orders and invoices were instead used to direct funds to companies in which Okunak had an interest, companies performing services for companies in which he had an interest, and to pay for his personal expenses. For example, Okunak allegedly used falsified purchase orders and invoices to direct $2.5 million to a company he owned, and directed $90,000 to a sports complex operator to pay for his suite license fee. According to the complaint, Okunak circumvented internal controls by submitting false certifications that failed to disclose his conflict of interest and his knowledge of improper payments. We allege that Okunak also circumvented controls related to the onboarding and payment of vendors.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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