The Indian-American founder of a database compilation firm was today charged by regulators with fraudulently using millions of dollars of corporate funds to support his lavish lifestyle, including 20 automobiles and a jet, forcing him to agree to USD 7.43 million in penalties.
Vinod Gupta, the former CEO and Chairman of the Omaha-based infoUSA Inc and infoGROUP Inc, allegedly used
corporate funds to pay almost USD 9.5 million in personal expenses, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said.
He additionally caused the company to enter into USD 9.3 million of undisclosed business transactions with other firms
in which he had a personal stake.
Gupta has agreed to settle the SEC's charges without admitting or denying the allegations against him. He would pay
about USD 7.43 million, including disgorgement of USD 4.04 million, prejudgment interest of USD 1.14 million and a
penalty of USD 2.24 million to settle the charges.
He has also agreed to an order barring him from serving as an officer or director of a public company and placing
restrictions on the voting of his Info common stock.
"Gupta stole millions of dollars from Info shareholders by treating the company like it was his personal ATM. Other
corporate officers also abused their positions of trust by looking the other way instead of standing up for investors and
bringing the scheme to a halt," Director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement Robert Khuzami said.