The criminal trial of former Posterscope USA executives Todd Hansen and James Buckley won’t be going forward. Both men, who initially pled not guilty and were set to
go to trial next month, have changed their pleas to guilty, the U.S. District Court in Manhattan has confirmed.
Hansen, 48, the former president of Posterscope USA, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud. According to the Manhattan Attorney's Office, Hansen faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Jed S. Rakoff on October 11.
Buckley, also 48, and the former Posterscope USA finance director, pled guilty to similar charges and also faces a 40-year maximum term. He will be sentenced Oct. 4.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated that “Todd Hansen and his co-conspirator [Buckley] engaged in accounting sleight-of-hand for the sole purpose of self-enrichment, in violation of the securities laws, and his fiduciary and ethical duties to his company and its shareholders. They have now both admitted their guilt and will be punished accordingly.”
The pair were arrested last fall and formally indicted in February on the fraud and conspiracy charges.
According to an investigation carried out jointly by the
FBI and the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office, the former executives allegedly falsified accounting ledgers to make it appear that the Aegis Group-owned out-of-home specialist was booking more
ads than it actually was in order to increase their own compensation.
The alleged scheme made it appear as if Posterscope earned net income of $19.7 million more than it actually did between 2005 and 2009, per the charges. “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 initial charge sheet stated.
An Aegis rep couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.