Former Beazer Homes executive free on bond after facing charges that he manipulated books

Friday, August 27, 2010

Judge allows former Beazer exec free on bond

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The former chief accounting officer for Beazer Homes USA Inc. was allowed to go free on bond Friday, just a couple of days after he was arrested on an 11-count federal indictment in North Carolina.

Officials said Michael T. Rand was released on bond after a detention hearing Friday in Asheville. He is accused in the indictment unsealed this week of an accounting fraud conspiracy to manipulate Beazer’s financial statements along with witness tampering and other charges. Federal authorities said the conspiracy lasted for about seven years, starting in 2000.

The indictment accuses Rand of directing the accounting fraud conspiracy. Prosecutors say he entered into a hidden side agreement with an unnamed company so that Beazer could get cash and recognize it as revenue. Authorities also say he created false financial books by using “cookie jar accounting” — a practice that would make Beazer look less profitable during boom times but improve the balance sheet during lean times.

Rand also obstructed justice by corruptly altering, destroying and concealing records, according to the indictment.

His charges each come with maximum prison terms of between five and 30 years, along with maximum fines of $250,000 to $1 million. An attorney for Rand did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The Atlanta-based company previously accepted responsibility for charges of conspiracy and securities fraud. Beazer agreed to pay restitution of up to $50 million.

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