Former Cendant Controller to Pay $100K Fine

Anne Pember, controller of CUC International Inc. before that company merged with HFS Inc. to form Cendant in 1997, has agreed to pay $100,000 and cancel her stock options at the company to settle accusations that she played an important role in an accounting fraud at the company now known as Avis Budget Group Inc.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil charges against her almost seven years ago, alleging that, in 1998 alone, Pember was responsible for implementing directives that inflated the company's annual income by more than $100 million.

SEC charges remain outstanding against two other former Cendant executives, ex-Chief Executive Walter Forbes and ex-Vice Chairman Kirk Shelton. Forbes was sentenced to 12 years and seven months in prison, while Shelton received a 10-year sentence. Both were ordered to pay $3.275 billion in restitution in the criminal case.

Earlier this year, Pember was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and two years of probation in a related criminal case. Her settlement with the SEC didn't include a civil penalty. She agreed to be permanently banned from practicing before the SEC as an accountant, and accepted a ban on serving as an officer or director of a public company.

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