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SEC Bars Accountant in Towers Financial Case

June 21, 1995

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The former accountant for Towers Financial Corp., a bill collection firm accused of defrauding investors of millions of dollars, was barred Tuesday from dealing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Marvin E. Basson, 63, of Upper Brookville, N.Y., agreed to the penalty to settle charges he issued misleading accounting reports about the Towers financial condition from 1988 through 1990, the SEC said.

The penalty means Basson cannot sign financial statements public companies are required to file with the SEC. he did not admit guilt or deny the charges in settling the case, the SEC said.

The SEC said Basson ``was at least reckless″ in failing to know that Towers inflated its outstanding revenues and income figures.

These false financial statements, in turn, were included in Towers’ annual reports, which were used to market the sale of $460 million of notes and bonds to investors.

Towers’ founder, Steven Hoffenberg, 49, pleaded guilty in April to charges of conspiracy, securities fraud and tax evasion related to the misleading financial statements. In addition, Hoffenberg agreed to pay $60 million last year to settle an SEC civil case against him.

Hoffenberg attempted to buy the New York Post in 1993, but his bid was blocked when the SEC sued him, charging he had swindled investors.

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