Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Broadcom Executive Fired Today For Phony Credentials, While Microsemi Executive Remains Under Scrutiny

Broadcom Executive Vahid Manian Fired

Broadcom Corp. (NASDAQ: BRCM) fired Senior Vice President Vahid Manian after a background report issued by Barry Minkow, co-founder of the Fraud Discovery Institute, uncovered him using phony educational credentials in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Broadcom simply issued a terse one-sentence statement saying:

On December 3, 2008, the employment of Vahid Manian, Senior Vice President, Global Manufacturing Operations of Broadcom Corporation and an officer and/or director of various Broadcom subsidiaries, was terminated. A search has commenced to find his successor.

Broadcom could have at least thanked my dear friend Barry Minkow for uncovering lies by its Senior Vice President that the company was incapable of finding. No surprise in their lack of gratitude.

In my last blog post, I detailed how a background check by Minkow exposed that Broadcom Corp. Senior Vice President and STEC Inc. Board Member Vahid Manian did not receive a “B.S.E.E and an M.B.A from the University of California, Irvine” as claimed in a Broadcom proxy filing and an STEC proxy filing with the SEC.

So far, STEC (NASDAQ: STEC) has issued no statement about Manian’s status as a Director of that company. Marian also serves on STEC's audit, compensation, and nominating committees.

Microsemi Executive James J. Peterson "Categorically Denies" Falsifying Credentials, While Brigham Young Spokeswoman Reaffirms Findings in Minkow Report

In another press release issued today, Microsemi Corporation (NASDAQ: MSCC) President and CEO James J. Peterson categorically denied “published reports that he has misrepresented his degrees from Brigham Young University.”

According to another background check by Minkow, Microsemi Chief Executive Officer and STEC Board Member James Peterson did not receive a "B.A. in business administration and an M.B.A. from Brigham Young University" as claimed in STEC's proxy filing with the SEC.

According to that press release, Peterson said:

I am working directly with the University to clarify this situation. It appears that the background check there may have mistakenly been made with the name 'James J. Patterson,' not mine, as stated in a Seeking Alpha report.

Peterson probably read my earlier blog post this morning that was syndicated on Seeking Alpha. While I correctly spelled his last name several times, I misspelled his last name once in a paragraph towards the end of that post.

However, the background check by Minkow was done under the name "James J. Peterson" and not "James J. Patterson," as suggested by Peterson. In addition, the birthday and social security number (redacted from the report) is clearly Peterson's and does not belong to anyone else.

In Microsemi's press release, Peterson was also quoted as saying:

I have every reason to expect that Brigham Young will investigate this allegation shortly and officially confirm my degrees.

However, Bloomberg News went back and re-interviewed Brigham Young spokeswomen Carri Jenkins after Peterson's statements, above, denying that he falsified his educational credentials:

Brigham Young spokeswoman Jenkins said in an interview after the statement that she checked degree records again and couldn’t find any record of a degree for Peterson. She said she had been checking the right name.

“We are always very careful when we release this kind of information,” she said.

Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

Therefore, Brigham Young spokesperson Carri Jenkins reaffirmed background reports by Barry Minkow and his Fraud Discovery Institute that Peterson falsified his educational credentials.

Both Executives Also Serve on Board of Directors of STEC Inc.

Both Vahid Manian and James J. Peterson also serve on the board of directors, audit, compensation, and nominating committees of STEC Inc. As detailed above, while Broadcom fired Manian, STEC has taken no action, to date, to remove him from its board.

Worst yet, two of six board members of STEC Inc. and two of four members of its audit, compensation, and nominating committees used phony credentials in SEC filings, according to the Fraud Discovery Institute background reports.

According to today's Bloomberg article, "Peterson said he had vetted and hired Manian when the two worked for Silicon Systems Inc." Both Peterson and Manion worked at Silicon Systems in the mid-1990s.

As a minimum, Peterson failed to adequately vet the credentials of his long-time pal Manian, who lied to him about his educational background for several years. Is it possible that Peterson colluded with Manian to cover-up Manion's false educational background? Is it possible that they both colluded with each other to lie about both of their respective backgrounds?

To be continued....

Written by:

Sam E. Antar (former Crazy Eddie CFO and a convicted felon)


I am not short or long any of the companies named in this blog post. However, the Fraud Discovery Institute and/or Barry Minkow may have a short position in the companies mentioned in this blog post. Please read the Full Disclaimer on FDI for Profit Status.

Over a year ago, I provided funds to Fraud Discovery Institute (FDI) to help pay costs of its investigations, though I had no control over any monies spent. I am not an owner, manager, employee, or consultant of Minkow or FDI and I have not received any compensation from them.

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