Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street: March 19
InfoGroup's Jet Set CEO
What's the difference between a public company and a piggybank? Apparently not much, if you are InfoGroup's (IUSA) former CEO Vinod Gupta.
Gupta, who also founded the database provider, agreed Monday to pay more than $7.3 million to settle federal regulators' charges he embezzled nearly $9.5 million from the company to finance a lifestyle that included private jet travel (with and without ex-President Clinton), multiple vacation homes and nearly two dozen fancy automobiles. Unsurprisingly, the formerly jet-setting CEO agreed to the settlement announced by the Securities and Exchange Commission without admitting or denying the agency's allegations, but did agree to refrain from future violations of securities laws.
Gupta served as CEO and chairman of the company from 1992 through August 2008, when he resigned to settle a shareholder lawsuit alleging the company misspent millions of dollars on domestic and international air travel for Clinton and his wife, then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Bill Clinton had a six-year, $3.3 million consulting contract with the company, ostensibly to open doors for Gupta and Omaha, Neb-based InfoGroup. (Either that, or Bill has mad tech skills we don't know about.)
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