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BOSTON – A federal jury ruled against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in a civil fraud case against former software company CEO Alan C. Goldsworthy. After a four-week trial and one day of deliberations, the jury ruled that Goldsworthy did not engage in two schemes to fraudulently inflate revenue in the 2001 and 2002 financial statements of Applix Inc., a Westborough, Mass.-based business intelligence software company acquired by Cognos Inc. last year. SEC v. Goldsworthy, 1:06-cv-10012 (D. Mass.) “We are pleased that the jury was able to see through the thicket of unfounded SEC charges,” said Nixon Peabody partner Deborah L. Thaxter and lead attorney on the Goldsworthy legal team. “From the start, we were convinced these charges should have never been filed,” said Thaxter, who is in the firm’s Boston office. In a statement about the verdict, Nixon noted that the SEC highlighted this case as the “first instance of a new policy” to settle with companies that reported securities violations and to bring cases against “the individual wrongdoers.” David Bergers, director of the SEC’s Boston regional office, said the case does not reflect a new policy. “The commission has always pursued enforcement actions against both individuals and companies it believes have violated the securities laws,” Bergers said. Although it lost its case against Goldsworthy, the SEC settled with another former Applix executive in the case and got a favorable jury verdict for another one. In January, the SEC settled similar charges against Applix’s former director of world-wide operations, Mark E. Sullivan, with a $25,000 penalty and at least a three-year suspension from practicing before the SEC as an accountant. The jury also ruled that former CFO Walter Hilger was involved in falsification of Applix’s books and records and that he negligently engaged in a transaction that caused fraud or deceit to buyers of Applix securities.

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