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FORMER CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER SENTENCED FOR FALSIFYING ACCOUNTING RECORDS AND LYING TO ACCOUNTANTS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 8, 2010

BARTHOLOMEW FRANK PALMISANO, JR., a/k/a Bart Palmisano, Jr., age 40, a resident of Metairie, Louisiana, was sentenced in federal court today by U. S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt to thirty-nine (39) months imprisonment for falsifying corporate books and records and lying to auditors and accountants of a publicly-traded company, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten. In addition, Judge Engelhardt ordered PALMISANO to pay a $10,000 fine and be placed on three (3) years of supervised release following the term of imprisonment, during which time the defendant will be under federal supervision and risks an additional term of imprisonment should he violate any terms of his supervised release. Also, PALMISANO was ordered to pay $325,170.30 in restitution and perform 250 hours of community service.

According to court documents, from 1998 through 2001, PALMISANO was employed as the Chief Financial Officer of Orthodontic Centers of America, Inc. (OCA), a publicly-traded company formerly based in Metairie, Louisiana. During that time period, the defendant entered over a dozen accounting entries into the Company’s accounting system that increased the Company’s revenues while simultaneously increasing its assets.

According to the Factual Basis, in 2005, OCA employed an accounting firm to assist it in preparing certifications required to be filed with the SEC under federal law. An accountant working at this firm uncovered the accounting entries booked by the defendant from 1998 through 2001, found them to be suspicious in nature, and raised questions about the basis for those entries.

After learning accountants were reviewing and testing these suspicious transactions, PALMISANO covered up the entries by concocting a fictitious story to explain them and fabricating documents to support that story. Additionally, the defendant wrongfully accessed the Company’s accounting database and manipulated accounting entries to make it appear as if the original entries had been entered by a deceased employee and that they had been “reversed.”

The case was investigated by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorneys Matt Chester and Eileen Gleason.

 

 

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