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Thursday, January 27, 2005

Westport Man Named in Federal Securities Fraud Indictment

A Westport man who is a former executive of the Internet ad firm L90 has been indicted by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles on charges he fraudulently booked revenues to boost the companys performance.

Keith Jon Kaplan, 36, was charged with three counts of conspiracy, securities fraud and falsifying books and records. He faces a maximum of 25 years in federal prison and is expected to be arraigned on Feb. 22, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Kaplan is former senior vice president and chief of sales for the Internet advertising firm. It had been based in Marina del Rey, Calif., before merging with a unit of Doubleclick, changing its name to MaxWorldwide in 2002, and moving its corporate headquarters to New York.

Kaplan is alleged to have conspired with two other former executives to inflate revenues to meet analystsҒ fourth quarter 2000 projections, the U.S. Attorneys office said.

In one example, he is alleged to have offered the founder of a failing Internet company $500,000 worth of free advertising and recording $546,000 in advertising revenue in fourth quarter 2000, which allowed L90 to meet analysts estimates.

The other executives, John Bohan, L90’s former chief executive and president, and Lucrezia Bickerton, its former vice president of finance, already have pleaded guilty to criminal charges.

Two other executives have pleaded guilty to similar charges as part of the L90 investigation, lead by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

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Posted 01/27/05 at 03:38 AM  Permalink



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