Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. has asked a second U.S. attorneys office to investigate Henry Yuen in an effort to push for a harsher sentence for its former chief executive, Bloomberg News reported.
The unusual request for a probe by federal prosecutors in Florida was disclosed in court papers filed on Nov. 14 by the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angles this week. The government is questioning whether Gemstar can be considered a victim in the case with the right to object to the proposed sentencing agreement, Bloomberg said.
Gemstar is opposing a plea deal Yuen made with the L.A. prosecutors for him to serve six months of home detention for his role in a 2002 accounting scandal that cost nearly $80 million in shareholder settlements and regulatory fines.
On Nov. 4, L.A.-based Gemstar said in a court filing that Yuen's plea agreement was not severe enough, calling it a "slap on the wrist" and a "travesty of justice." Stanley Arkin, Yuen's attorney, called the effort to involve Florida prosecutors part of the company's strategy to avoid paying Yuen a severance package valued in the millions.
Yuen pleaded guilty in October to a single obstruction of justice charge, and was ordered to pay a $250,000 fine and to make a $1 million charitable contribution. He still faces trial on charges of accounting fraud. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 19 in U.S. District Court.
The U.S. Supreme Court turned down Yuen's appeal of a Securities and Exchange Commission decision that froze $37 million in termination payments to Yuen, and the former chief financial officer, Elsie M. Leung.
Yuen was removed from the top position at Gemstar in November 2002, and was fired in the spring of 2003.
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