Update: SEC Details
snippet: Beginning in December 1998, Conway
directed Marini to do whatever was necessary to ensure that the
Company met its earnings guidance but not to tell Conway how he
was meeting the earnings guidance so that Conway could maintain
SEC and U.S. Attorney Investigation Completed; No
Financial Penalty Imposed Against Rent-Way
"This marks a new beginning for Rent-Way. The distractions
managing our business in the wake of the accounting
irregularities announced over 32 months ago are behind us."
Jeffrey Conway, 45, former president and chief financial
officer, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to falsify Rent-Way's
books and records and to "circumvent Rent-Way's internal
Matthew Marini, 38, former controller and chief
accounting officer, pleaded guilty to securities fraud.
Jeffrey Underwood, 47, former senior vice president,
pleaded guilty to falsifying books, records and accounts.
In a statement issued by Rent-Way, the company reported that
the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney for
the Western District of Pennsylvania have concluded their
investigation of the company.
In connection with the civil action taken by the SEC, the
company has consented to the entry of an order requiring
compliance with the record keeping and reporting provisions of
the Exchange Act. The SEC did not seek any financial penalty
against the company, its current officers or directors, nor will
the U.S. Attorney bring any charges against the company or
current officers and directors.
In response to the actions announced today, William E.
Morgenstern, Chairman and CEO of Rent-Way, stated, "We are
pleased that the investigation has been completed and believe
the final results are consistent with our internal
Today's SEC release stated, "The Commission considered that
Rent-Way undertook remedial actions and cooperated with
In a release issued earlier today, United States Attorney
Mary Beth Buchanan recognized "the significant cooperation
provided by company officials at Rent-Way" and stressed that the
Company had been "fully and openly cooperating with the
Also, according to a statement made today, the U.S. Attorney
and the Securities and Exchange Commission have announced that
action will be taken against three former employees.
Mr. Morgenstern concluded, "This marks a new beginning for
Rent-Way. The distractions managing our business in the wake of
the accounting irregularities announced over 32 months ago are
behind us. Looking ahead, we plan to focus on growing our
business and increasing profitability in our stores. We have
taken steps to reposition our company for growth, both
financially and operationally. In particular, our recently
completed refinancing has provided us with the financial
resources we need to execute our business plan and take
advantage of opportunities in the vibrant rent-to- own market."
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