SEC v. Hayes Lemmerz, Ranko Cucuz, and William Shovers
Ranko “Ron” Cucuz and William Shovers (former CEO and CFO, respectively, of Hayes Lemmerz, the world’s largest producer of steel and aluminum wheels) were accused by the SEC of securities fraud, making false or misleading statements, falsifying books and accounts, and aiding and abetting. Cucuz and Shovers failed to report $18 million in expenses so that they could inflate company earnings reports between 1999 and 2001, keeping the company’s shareholders in the dark about the true performance of the company.
The Focal Point’s Role
The Focal Point worked as a team with SEC attorneys to develop compelling case themes and create a persuasive storyline. We also helped them figure out how to simplify and explain complex accounting principles and reporting procedures, which was critical in order for the jury to fully understand the case being made against the defendants. Specifically, The Focal Point created over 50 graphics, including tutorials, visual analogies to simplify complex accounting processes and reporting procedures, and powerful illustrations that contrasted what should have been done with what the Hayes Lemmerz officers actually did.
On August 20, 2008, after 3½ hours of deliberation, the jury found Mr. Shovers liable on all counts and Mr. Cucuz liable for one violation, a big win for the SEC.
US District Court for Eastern District of Michigan
The Focal Point’s Client
US Securities and Exchange Commission