Individuals charged with aiding fraud at Ahold's subsidiary
The Securities and Exchange and Commission (SEC) has alleged that nine individuals - employees or agents of vendors at US Foodservice, an Ahold subsidiary - have aided and abetted a huge financial fraud by signing false audit confirmations sent to them by the auditors at US Foodservice. SEC allegations that US Foodservice employees contacted vendors and pressured them to sign false documentation come as a further blow to the food conglomerate whose reputation has suffered considerably over the past two years due to accounting impropriety.
The individuals, claim the SEC, forwarded information that overstated the amount of promotional allowance income paid or owed to US Foodservice by $700 million in fiscal years 2001 and 2002, in some cases inflating the amounts due by more than 100%.
Linda Chatham Thomsen, deputy director of the Commission's division of enforcement, comments: ?Financial frauds often depend on the assistance of outsiders to succeed and remain undetected. The individuals and salespersons charged today, while not employed by Ahold, helped the company commit a fraud and helped hide that fraud from Ahold's auditors.?