The Securities and Exchange Commission fined Lime Energy $1 million and four of its former executives agreed to settle charges for an alleged accounting fraud that pushed revenue into earlier periods to meet targets. The energy services company allegedly recorded recognized $20 million in revenue improperly from at least 2010 to 2012. The alleged scheme centered on recording revenue for newly signed contracts before year-end before the paperwork was received and then eventually revenue on contracts that didn't exist. The SEC alleged the company's then-corporate controller Julianne M. Chandler approved accounting entries worth millions of dollars in additional 2011 revenue well after the year-end close. In February 2012 before finalizing 2011 results, the company's then-executive vice president James G. Smith allegedly sent Chandler more fake accounting entries. The company and executives neither admitted nor denied the allegations. The four executives will pay a total of $150,000 in additional penalties. Chandler and Smith also agreed to five year officer and director bar. The company's former utilities division vice president of operations Joaquin Alberto Dos Santos Almeida agreed to a permanent officer-and-director bar. The company's then-CEO John E. O'Rourke and then-CFO Jeffrey R. Mistarz voluntarily reimbursed the company for cash bonuses and certain stock awards they received during the period when the company committed accounting violations eliminating the need for the SEC to pursue a clawback action under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
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