Mark Frissora, former CEO of Caesars Entertainment, has agreed to settle charges by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of filing inaccurate financial statements and disclosures during his time as CEO and chairman of Hertz Car Rental Corp.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, citing an August 13 statement from the SEC, Frissora agreed to repay Hertz nearly $2 million in incentive-based compensation.
The SEC alleged that in 2013, when the Hertz’s financial results fell short of projections, Frissora pressured subordinates to “find money” and make accounting changes that rendered the company’s financial reports materially inaccurate.
Frissora did not admit nor deny the allegations but consented to a judgment “permanently enjoining him from violating any future violations of the applicable federal securities laws.”
In addition to more than $1.982 million in bonuses and other incentive-based compensation, he is required to pay a $200,000 civil penalty. The settlement is subject to court approval.
Frissora joined Caesars in 2015, taking over from then-CEO Gary Loveman. He presided over the company’s emergence from bankruptcy in October 2017, which included spinning off ownership of some 20 resorts into VICI Properties, which leased the operations back to Caesars. But by the following year, the Review-Journal reported, Frissora had “fallen out of favor with certain large Caesars shareholders, mainly hedge funds that gained ownership after the bankruptcy was finalized.”
In November 2018, he announced he would depart in February 2019, but remained until April 2019 when Tony Rodio took over. Caesars was sold in July to Eldorado Resorts in a $17.3 billion merger.
Frissora can afford the settlement; he left Caesars with a severance package of $8 million, plus a bonus and other benefits, including stock options. He also pocketed $83,333 per month for six months as a consultancy fee.