Ex-Delphi Boss Escapes Most Serious Charges

The former chief executive of auto supplier Delphi Corp. has been cleared of most of the civil charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission in federal court in Detroit.

J.T. Battenberg III was found liable on three of seven charges relating to how Delphi accounted for a 237 million dollar transaction involving warranty costs with former parent General Motors, dating back to 2000.

Battenberg and ex-Delphi accountant Paul Free were acquitted of fraud charges but found liable for bookkeeping errors and misrepresentations to accountants.

The SEC sued Delphi and the executives in 2006, alleging that the company manipulated its earnings between 2000 and 2004.  Battenberg, 67, told the Associated Press “The finding of no fraud is extremely gratifying.”

Free and his attorney could not be reached for comment. SEC lawyer George Miller said the verdicts “send a clear message that filing false statements and misleading investors will not be tolerated.”

Battenberg and Free will likely face financial penalties on the guilty counts.

(Copyright 2011 WWJ Newsradio 950. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press Contributed To This Story)

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