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The Washington Post reports that Mark P. Kaiser, a former marketing executive with Ahold’s US Foodservice division, was found guilty yesterday of conspiracy, securities fraud and false filing charges. He is free on bond until sentencing scheduled for February 8, and his attorneys say they plan to appeal the conviction.

It was the accounting scandal at US Foodservice, connected to an overstatement of the company’s profits, that resulted in the forced resignations of several senior executives, including the then-CEO, Cees van der Hoeven. It also, by extension, set in motion the events that resulted this week in Ahold’s announcement that it will sell the US Foodservice business.

Kaiser is the only former US Foodservice executive to go to trial. Former CFO Michael Resnick pleaded guilty of essentially the same charges, as did Timothy J. Lee, who worked for Kaiser and testified against him in the case. The Post notes that “in all, more than a dozen executives at U.S. Foodservice and its supplier companies have pleaded guilty and settled related civil charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

Ahold itself has not been prosecuted in the case, though it did pay $1.1 billion to resolve shareholder claims.
KC's View:
Guess maybe Kaiser is reevaluating that whole “I want to tell my story to a jury” decision, eh?