WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The former finance chief of Beazer Homes USA
The Securities and Exchange Commission said James O'Leary had not been charged with misconduct, but was still required under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to pay back the money he received while the fraud was going on.
O'Leary, without admitting or denying the SEC's allegations, agreed to pay back his entire incentive bonus for fiscal year 2006, including $1.2 million in cash incentive payments, $131,733 for restricted stock units and $274,525 in stock sale profits.
"Section 304 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act encourages senior management to take affirmative steps to prevent fraudulent accounting schemes from occurring on their watch," said Rhea Kemble Dignam, who heads the SEC's Atlanta regional office. "O'Leary received substantial incentive compensation and stock sale profits while Beazer was misleading investors and fraudulently overstating its income."
The SEC reached a settlement with former Beazer Chief Executive Ian McCarthy earlier this year to recover several million dollars in compensation and stock profits that he received. McCarthy did not admit wrongdoing and was not personally charged with misconduct.
Beazer settled an SEC enforcement action in September 2008, and the SEC charged its former chief accounting officer Michael Rand in July 2009. Litigation against Rand, who the SEC says perpetrated the fraud, is ongoing.
Shares of Beazer were up 2.5 percent at $2.02 in afternoon trading, after slipping to a year low of $1.48 one week ago.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Gary Hill)