A former businessman in southeastern Kentucky has been fined $240,000 for alleged securities fraud.
Bill Deaton, who has started several companies in the London area but now lives in Florida, was fined by the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month for allegedly cooking the books of his former data entry services company, Image Entry, so he could earn a $25 million bonus, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. Image Entry had several federal and state contracts for data entry.
Deaton would earn an annual bonus, totaling $25 million over three years, if Image Entry hit certain earnings targets. By allegedly transferring expenses to the books of another business he controlled, Trinity Group LLC, and counting revenue from a government contract before the contract had been completed, Deaton hit the targets and collected the bonus, according to court documents.
As part of a deal with the SEC, Deaton admitted no wrongdoing but agreed to pay the fine. Deaton also agreed not to serve as an officer of any public company for five years, according to a release issued by the SEC.
Ed Henry, a Lexington lawyer who has represented Deaton in the past, said Deaton decided to sign the agreement and pay the fine so Deaton and his family could move on with other business interests.
Deaton sold Image Entry in 2001 to Sourcecorp, a Dallas company specializing in document and information management.