21 September – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Henry C. Yuen, 57, formerly the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Gemstar-TV Guide International, Inc., will plead guilty to a felony charge of obstructing an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into alleged accounting irregularities at Gemstar from 1999 through 2002, the United States Attorney for the Central District of California announced today.
According to the Information being filed today, and as admitted by Yuen in a plea agreement with the government, also being filed today, the SEC began a formal investigation of Gemstar, a publicly traded company, in October 2002. Yuen received a subpoena from the SEC requiring him to provide the SEC with a broad range of items including e-mails, correspondence and all documents concerning Gemstar, including documents stored on his computer. After receiving this subpoena, Yuen deleted from his computer e-mails and Gemstar corporate documents that the subpoena required him to produce. Yuen also received a subpoena to testify before SEC investigators. In March 2003, the day before Yuen was scheduled to appear and testify before the SEC, Yuen installed a computer program called “Eraser 2003” on his Gemstar office computer. By running this program, Yuen – a computer expert – made it nearly impossible for anyone to recover the documents he had previously deleted. Shortly thereafter, Yuen had the hard drive from his office computer removed and taken away from his Gemstar office.
Under the terms of his plea agreement, Yuen will be sentenced to 6 months home detention as part of a two year period of probation, will provide community service by donating $1 million to charities representing low income victims of fraud, and will pay an additional $250,000 fine. During the period of probation Yuen will also be barred from serving as an officer or director of any publicly traded company.
The SEC has brought suit against Yuen and other corporate officers of Gemstar alleging violations of the Federal Securities laws. The SEC case is currently scheduled to go to trial on December 6, 2005.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.