In front of the 10-person jury in U.S. District Court in Detroit, the lead attorney of former Delphi Corp. CEO J.T. Battenberg III made closing arguments last Tuesday and asserted that his client has been miscast as a scheming executive who made a profit from alleged accounting misdeeds in 2000.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is accusing Battenberg of tricking investors in 2000 by improperly booking a large payment to General Motors and for signing allegedly fraudulent regulatory disclosures.
Battenberg's attorney, William Jeffress Jr., said that what Battenberg did was to take great care to guarantee proper accounting at Delphi. Jeffress said that accounting procedures used in 2000 that caught the ire of the SEC were vetted and approved by legal counsel inside and outside of Delphi.
He stated that the government has failed to present any evidence during the eight-week federal civil trial to back its claim that Battenberg and senior executives of Delphi got higher bonuses because of the way Battenberg and co-defendant Paul Free accounted for payments to General Motors in 2000.
In 2006, Delphi settled its case with the SEC. Settlements have also been reached by 11 other former Delphi managers and people who did business with the supplier. [via autonews - sub. required]