Thursday, February 07, 2008

Colorado executive of Con-Agra spin-off settles SEC complaint with a fine. A former executive at United Agri Products has agreed to settle allegations by the Securities and Exchange Commission that he participated in improper accounting practices that also affected Omaha-based ConAgra Foods Inc., the SEC said. Randy Cook, former president of North American operations at Colorado-based UAP, did not admit or deny the allegations as he agreed to pay $367,429 in repayments and penalties, subject to court approval, the commission said Friday. The commission alleged that Cook and others participated in accounting practices that resulted in overstated operating results in 1999 and 2000, impacting UAP and its former parent company, ConAgra Foods. As a result, the SEC alleged, Cook obtained inflated bonus and other profit-based compensation.Other defendants previously agreed to settlements, the SEC said. Last year, ConAgra agreed without admitting or denying the allegations to pay a $45 million civil penalty to resolve an SEC complaint of improper and at times fraudulent accounting from fiscal years 1999 through part of 2005. That complaint included financial results of United Agri Products.

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