Vitesse Officials Get Probation in Backdating Case

Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. (VTSS) co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer Louis Tomasetta and ex-finance chief Eugene Hovanec received sentences of three years’ probation for scheming to destroy documents sought by the U.S. as part of a federal probe into options backdating.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff today sentenced the men to probation and fined each $30,000. The judge followed the recommendation of prosecutors and lawyers for the two men that he not sentence them to serve time in prison.

Tomasetta and Hovanec each pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy in August after two mistrials on charges of backdating stock options and inflating sales figures at the Camarillo, California-based maker of integrated circuits.

In the first trial, U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty declared a mistrial in April 2012 on the fourth day of deliberations after jurors said they couldn’t reach a unanimous decision on any of seven criminal counts.

Prosecutors then filed a new indictment, dropping most of the charges and accusing the men of a single count each of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, which carried a maximum of five years in prison.

A second trial also ended in a mistrial in February as the jury deadlocked on charges that they conspired to misstate earnings at the chipmaker.

The case is U.S. v. Tomasetta, 10-1205, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in federal court in Manhattan at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.