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Delphi’s Battenberg Cleared of Fraud but Guilty of Three Other Charges

Will pay substantial fines but serve no jail time.

by on Jan.13, 2011

Former Delphi Chief Battenberg found guilty on three charges, cleared on a fourth.

The long trial of former Delphi Chairman and Chief Executive Officer J.T. Battenberg ended with a jury clearing him of fraud – but he was still found him liable for misrepresentation and responsible for accounting errors involving a $237 million payment the supplier made to former parent General Motors.

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s civil complaint against Battenberg alleged that the former Delphi CEO had tried to hide the Dephi’s financial condition in order to improve its performance in the market.

Battenberg faced only civil, rather than criminal charges.  He nonetheless sought vindication via a jury trial but now faces a substantial fine and possibly other sanctions.

He faces no jail time but could be barred from serving on the board of any publicly traded company on top of those fines.  It was a serious rebuke to an executive who was considered one of Detroit’s major corporate stars during the 1980s and 1990s.

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Former Delphi CEO Battenberg’s Trial Wrapping Up

Prosecutors claim exec misled investors before Delphi bankruptcy.

by on Jan.06, 2011

Did former Delphi Chief J.T. Battenberg - shown here at a 2003 conference - mislead investors?

Did the former chief executive of mega-supplier Delphi intentionally mislead investors even as the company was spiraling down towards bankruptcy? That’s the key question as the long federal trial of J.T.Battenberg former Delphi chairman and CEO wraps up, with both defense attorneys and prosecutors laying out their final arguments.

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s civil complaint against Battenberg charges that the former Delphi executive – who retired as the company collapsed — set out to hide Delphi’s financial woes.

Battenberg faces no jail time but could be barred from serving on the board of any publicly traded company — and be forced to pay substantial fines.  It also would serve as a severe rebuke to an executive who was considered one of Detroit’s major corporate stars during the 1980s and 1990s.

The SEC’s prosecutors have hammered on the idea that Battenberg deliberately deceived outside investors about the handling of an item in the company financial filings in the years before Delphi filed for bankruptcy in 2005. (The company only emerged from Chapter 11 protection last year, marking the longest corporate bankruptcy in U.S. history.)

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