United States v. Edward William O’Brien III
Court Docket Number: 2:09-CR-00365-PHX-SRB
This case is assigned to the Honorable Susan R. Bolton, United States District Court Judge for the District of Arizona, Sandra Day O'Connor United States Courthouse, 401 West Washington Street, Phoenix, Arizona.
Edward William O'Brien III, the former controller of CSK, the largest specialty retailer of auto parts and accessories in the western United States, pleaded guilty to a criminal information, filed under seal on March 19, 2009, and unsealed on April 7, 2009, charging him with one count of obstruction of proceedings before agencies (18 U.S.C. § 1505) stemming from a scheme to thwart a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation into CSK's accounting practices. OnNovember 7, 2011, O'Brien was sentenced to3 years of probation and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.
According to the criminal information, in approximately summer 2006, O'Brien corruptly made material false statements and omitted material information during an internal investigation interview in order to influence, obstruct and impede the SEC’s investigation of CSK's accounting practices. O’Brien admitted that at the time of the interview, he knew the SEC was investigating allegations of fraud in connection with financial disclosures by his employer.
In related cases, in May 2011, Don W. Watson, former CSK chief financial officer, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities and mail fraud charged in an April 2009 indictment, and he was sentenced in September 2011. Watson’s co-defendant and former CSK president and chief operating officer Martin Gregory Fraser died and the charges against him were dismissed in June 2010. Also, in April 2009, Gary Michael Opper, former CSK director of credits and receivables, pleaded guilty to a criminal information, filed in March 2009, charging him with one count of obstruction of proceedings before an agency and was sentenced. In another related action, in March 2009, the SEC filed a civil enforcement action against Fraser, Watson, O'Brien and Opper.