Sentencing over Foodservice fraud

The ex-chief financial officer at US Foodservice, a unit of Dutch retailer Ahold, has been given three years’ probation over an accounting fraud.

Michael Resnick had pleaded guilty in September to one count of conspiracy.

The case stemmed from an inquiry into Ahold’s 2003 admission that earnings at the US business had been overstated by more than $800m (£493m).

Prosecutors said Resnick and others manipulated entries in Foodservice’s books to help it meet profit targets.

Resnick, who will serve the first half-year of his probation under house arrest, told the Manhattan court: “I approved entries I should not have approved. I said yes when I should have said no.”

In November a Manhattan federal jury convicted former US Foodservice marketing executive Mark Kaiser of conspiracy, fraud and making false filings.

He will be sentenced in February, with the maximum possible sanction against him being a life sentence.

The government has also brought criminal charges against 16 of the food-service company’s suppliers, with more than two-thirds pleading guilty.

Ahold, which agreed to pay $1.1bn in compensation to investors, will not be prosecuted. It is now looking for a buyer for Columbia, Maryland-based US Foodservice.

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