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SEC sues two ex-Logitech executives for inflating results

A sign for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is pictured in the foyer of the Fort Worth Regional Office in Fort Worth, Texas June 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Stone

(Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has sued two former executives of computer accessories maker Logitech International SA (LOGN.S) (LOGI.O), accusing them of deceiving investors in 2011 by fraudulently concealing the poor performance of a failed TV set-top device.

In a complaint filed late on Monday in San Francisco federal court, the SEC said Logitech's former chief financial officer, Erik Bardman, and its former acting controller, Jennifer Wolf, schemed to inflate the company's operating income, causing a $30.7 million overstatement in fiscal 2011, and misled its outside auditor.

The SEC said the defendants did so after poor sales of Revue, a device to provide Internet usage and video streaming, forced Logitech to cut its profit forecast, and left them under "substantial pressure" to meet the reduced guidance.

In November 2014, Logitech restated its financial results for 2011 and 2012 because of accounting errors related to the timing of inventory writedowns for Revue, the SEC said. The company is based in Apples, Switzerland, and has offices in Newark, California.


It is unclear whether the defendants have hired lawyers. The SEC did not immediately respond on Tuesday to requests for comment.

The lawsuit seeks to force Bardman and Wolf to pay civil fines, give up ill-gotten gains and bonuses, and be banned from serving as officers or directors of public companies.

The case is SEC v Bardman et al, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 16-02023.


(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Paul Simao)