Ex-Polycom CEO Settles With SEC Over Lavish Spending

Ex-Polycom CEO Settles With SEC Over Lavish Spending Andrew Miller, Polycom

SAN FRANCISCO — The former chief executive officer of Polycom Inc. has agreed to pay $450,000 to settle charges that he illegally used company funds to pay for luxurious vacations and expensive personal items like clothes and dinners.

Andrew Miller, who resigned in 2013, is barred from serving as a director or officer for any public company for the next five years under the terms of his agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission made public on Friday.

Miller is represented by Morrison & Foerster partners Paul Friedman, Craig Martin and Philip Besirof. Martin declined to comment.

Lawyers David Johnson, Susan LaMarca and David Andrew Berman prosecuted the case for the SEC.

Polycom develops video conferencing equipment and licenses video compression software. It employs close to 4,000 people.

In March 2015, the SEC filed civil charges against Miller in the Northern District of California for securities fraud, filing false proxy statements, falsifying books and records, and circumventing the company’s internal controls. The SEC complaint described lavish spending by Miller: a $524.67 charge on men’s shirts from Thomas Pink in the London Heathrow Airport—where dress shirts cost an average of $165 and up—and a $667.02 charge for dinner at San Francisco restaurant Quince, which earned two Michelin stars in 2013.

The SEC claimed that Miller spent more than $10,000 on clothing and accessories, a similar amount on tickets to sporting events, and more than $5,000 for plants and watering services for his personal residence. Miller also charged the company for vacations to Bali and South Africa, the SEC said.

Miller resigned in 2013 after an audit committee for Polycom’s board found irregularities in his expense reports.

According to the complaint, Miller hid these expenses by asking his administrative assistants to make purchases on company credit cards, then approving the expenses himself. Miller also allegedly faked the reason for some expenses, like claiming that the $413.40 he spent on tickets to Les Miserables was intended as a gift for “University of California SF/Childrens Hospital.”

Miller has agreed to pay a $250,000 civil penalty as well as disgorgement and interest.

Contact the reporter at druiz@alm.com.

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