Ex-Ceo Of Suburban Chicago Company Acquitted In Federal Case

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge has acquitted the former CEO of a suburban Chicago manufacturing company of all charges in a case that accused him of inflating revenue reports by $24 million.

U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman cleared Gary Winemaster of all counts Monday following a four-week bench trial, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Winemaster, the former CEO of Wood Dale-based Power Solutions International Inc., was charged in 2019 with 10 counts of wire fraud, as well as counts of securities fraud, making false statements and failing to certify financial reports.

He was accused of orchestrating a complex accounting “bill and hold” scheme in which incomplete sales were recorded as complete. The company’s accountants were allegedly kept unaware of the false transactions.

Winemaster’s attorneys argued that he was unaware of any alleged improper transactions, and pointed to a lack of evidence and witnesses who could prove otherwise.

Winemaster’s two co-defendants, former company general managers Craig Davis and James Needham, were also found not guilty of all counts.

“Today’s decision is an important vindication for our client, who acted in good faith and in the best interests of PSI shareholders,” said Sean Berkowitz, Winemaster’s lead defense counsel.