General Electric CEO Larry Culp fired back at fraud charges and market doubters Thursday buying $2 million worth of GE stock to send a public vote of confidence in the once-mighty industrial giant.
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Forensic accountant Harry Markopolos alleged Thursday in a more than 170-page report posted online that GE, which has shrunk in size selling off several units, has hidden its problems through fraudulent financial filings with regulators.
Markopolos rose to some fame for flagging Bernie Madoff's $65 billion Ponzi scheme to authorities two years before it came crashing down, but was ignored.
In an emailed statement, Culp told FOX Business, “GE will always take any allegation of financial misconduct seriously. But this is market manipulation – pure and simple. Mr. Markopolos’s report contains false statements of fact, and these claims could have been corrected if he had checked them with GE before publishing the report.”
Culp's comments did not stop investors from bailing on the stock which dropped more than 11% when the markets closed.
Thursday’s stock purchase was Culp’s second in less than a week. On Monday, he paid $3 million for 331,684 shares at a price of $9.04 per share. On the latest purchase, Culp laid out an average per-share price of $7.93 for 252,200 shares. Both sets of purchases were made through a holding company, according to a form Culp filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He now owns 1.17 million GE shares through the holding company and an additional 12,592 GE shares through trusts.