SA Pays $20M to Settle SEC Charges

Scientific Atlanta will pay $20 million to settle charges that the set-top vendor aided and abetted Adelphia Communications when the cable distributor violated federal securities laws in its financial reports, books and records, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday afternoon.

The SEC had accused SA, now a division of Cisco Systems, of agreeing to a request by Adelphia in 2000 to increase the price of its digital set-top boxes and pay the amount of the price increase back to Adelphia in the form of marketing support.

While the move helped Adelphia to artificially reduce its marketing expenses and increase its cash-flow numbers, the transactions did not impact SA’s public financial statements, the SEC said.

“The events involved in the settlement occurred in 2000-01. Scientific Atlanta properly disclosed this matter in is financial filings over the past several years and also announced the $20 million settlement last July,” SA said in a statement issued Thursday. “We believe the settlement is reasonable, and we are pleased that it resolves the SEC’s concerns.”

The SEC also said Thursday that SA senior vice president of operations Wallace Haislip and senior VP Julian Eidson consented to the issuance of cease-and-desist orders “for their respective roles in causing Adelphia’s violations.”