Monroe CFO indicted for ‘Ed’s cushion’ accounting ploy
Months after a former Bankrate executive and Monroe resident was fined $230,000 by the Securities and Exchange Commission, federal prosecutors in Florida indicted him on charges of accounting fraud.
Edward J. DiMaria, 52, was chief financial officer for Bankrate, working out of a New York City office for the financial information company at the time based in North Palm Beach, Fla. Federal prosecutors are investigating DiMaria and others for what they referred to as “Ed’s cushion”, an alleged scheme to inflate artificially Bankrate’s earnings by leaving $1 million in unsupported expense accruals off of Bankrate’s ledgers, which were reversed as needed in later reporting periods to help it meet its earnings goals.
Prosecutors cited a string of emails between Bankrate managers that they say show efforts to hide the ploy from outside accountants auditing Bankrate’s books in the normal course of business. Bankrate was sold last month to Red Ventures of Charlotte, N.C., with Bankrate having paid a $15 million fine in 2015.
DiMaria consented in August to the SEC fine, without admitting or denying the commission’s allegations. He appeared Wednesday before a federal judge in Florida and was released on bond.
Alex.Soule@scni.com; 203-842-2545; @casoulman