Former Posterscope President, Finance Director Charged WIth Fraud

HandcuffsTodd Hansen, the former president of Posterscope USA, the Aegis Group out-of-home ad shop, has been charged by the U.S. Attorney General’s office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation with accounting fraud during his time with the agency.

Hansen was charged along with James Buckley, the former finance director of the agency.

The Manhattan U.S. Attorney and the FBI jointly announced that the two men were charged with cooking the shop’s books to make it look like it earned net income of $19.75 million more than it actually did between 2005 and 2009. The prosecutors said the pair enacted what they called a “classic accounting fraud scheme” in order to meet performance goals that would guarantee them certain salaries and bonuses.



“As a result of meeting these fictitious performance goals, Hansen and Buckley were paid total salaries and bonuses in the amounts of $1.1 million and $650,000 respectively,” the charge sheet states.

In addition, the government said Hansen during the same period “allegedly misused tens of thousands of dollars of company funds to pay for expenses and fees that benefited him, his family and friends and that were unrelated to the company’s legitimate business.” The expenses were said to include apartment rental fees, country-club dues and airplane tickets.

Hansen departed the company at the end of 2009 amid a management shakeup and corporate reorganization. He was replaced by OOH industry veteran Connie Garrido. She declined to comment on the matter, referring calls to Aegis Media North America CEO Nigel Morris, who didn’t return a query about the case.

Hansen’s attorney, William Portanova, confirmed that Hansen had been arrested in California and released on his own recognizance. Portanova said that Hansen would make an appearance at the U.S. District Court in Manhattan to formally enter a not guilty plea within the next week. “A lot has to be learned on both sides and we’re looking forward to the process,” Portanova said.

After departing Posterscope, Hansen landed a job as president of the San Francisco division of Clear Channel Outdoor. However, contrary to some reports, he left that post “in the early fall,” and well before his arrest two weeks ago on the fraud charges, a company rep said. “He left for another job,” company spokeswoman Wendy Goldberg said, adding that Clear Channel had no further comment.

In the statement of charges, the government alleged that Hansen and Buckley “directed” the agency’s controller, who was not identified or charged in the document with any crimes, “to make fictitious entries in the company’s books and records to give the appearance that the company was meeting its monthly performance targets.” 

The government also alleged the controller was ordered to record higher monthly revenues “from either false client billings or from rebates on certain goods and services that the company was purportedly receiving from some of its vendors.”

Over time, higher income levels than were actually produced were reflected in the company’s financial statements. By enacting the scheme, the government alleged, Hansen and Buckley acted in “flagrant violation of their fiduciary duties, thinking that they could enrich themselves, their families and friends at the expense of their company, its corporate parent and its shareholders.”

Both of the former Posterscope executives were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud. Hansen was charged with an additional count of mail fraud. Each count carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison. Neither Buckley or his lawyer could be reached for comment.

Next story loading loading..