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January 18, 2017

Posted  February 21, 2017

New York-based marketing company MDC Partners will pay a $1.5 million penalty to settle charges that it failed to disclose certain perks enjoyed by its former CEO and separately violated non-GAAP financial measure disclosure rules.  The SEC’s order finds that MDC Partners disclosed an annual $500,000 perquisite allowance for its CEO but failed to disclose additional personal benefits the company paid on his behalf, such as private aircraft usage, club memberships, cosmetic surgery, yacht and sports car expenses, jewelry, charitable donations, pet care, and personal travel expenses.  The CEO later resigned and returned $11.285 million worth of perks, personal expense reimbursements, and other items of value improperly received from 2009 to 2014.  The SEC’s order also found improper use of non-GAAP measures.  According to the SEC’s order, MDC Partners presented a metric called “organic revenue growth” that represented the company’s revenue growth excluding the effects of acquisitions and foreign exchange impacts.  But from the second quarter of 2012 to year end 2013, MDC Partners incorporated a third reconciling item into its calculation without informing investors.  This resulted in higher “organic revenue growth” results.  The SEC also found that MDC Partners failed to give GAAP metrics equal or greater prominence to non-GAAP metrics in its earnings releases.  SEC

Tagged in: Regulatory Violations,