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Former Ahold Executive Kaiser Pleads Guilty in Fraud Case

The ex-marketing chief of a former U.S. unit of Dutch grocer Royal Ahold NV pleaded guilty to conspiracy 13 months after his previous conviction for overstating earnings was overturned.

Former U.S. Foodservice Inc. executive Mark Kaiser, 54, admitted today in Manhattan federal court to participating in an $800 million securities fraud. At his sentencing Dec. 7, he could receive as much as five years in prison.

Prosecutors alleged Kaiser made fraudulent representations about U.S. Foodservice’s financial condition in a bid to burnish his resume for a promotion at the Columbia, Maryland-based unit. He was convicted in 2006 of helping the subsidiary inflate profits from 2000 to 2003 by wrongly recording promotional rebates as income and sentenced to seven years in prison.

In July 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York threw out his convictions for securities fraud, conspiracy and four counts of making false filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The appeals court said he was entitled to a new trial because the lower court judge erred by admitting into evidence the statement of the unit’s general counsel.

Royal Ahold, based in Amsterdam, sold U.S. Foodservice in 2007 to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Clayton Dubilier & Rice Inc. for $7.1 billion.

The case is U.S. v. Kaiser, 04-cr-733, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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