Todd Hansen (left), former president of Aegis-owned Posterscope in the US, will be breathing a big sigh of relief as his penalty for a $20m accounting fraud has resulted in a New York court sentence of just four months in jail, three years of supervised released and fines and restitution amounting to just over $400,000.
Former finance director James Buckley was sentenced last year to one year of supervised release (he’d spent one day in jail) and restitution of $27,000.
Hansen and Buckley were convicted of inflating Posterscope’s US profits by $20m between 2004 and 2009 to inflate their bonuses. The two didn’t trouser $20m.
Nevertheless the convictions are embarrassing for Posterscope, boss Annie Rickard and owner Aegis. Aegis says it reported the two to the US authorities when it discovered the discrepancy.
They may also rattle the cage of Japanese marcoms giant Dentsu which agreed to buy Aegis for £3.2bn last year. Aegis is celebrated for its higher-than-average margins, much of which come from poster buying.