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SEC sues two ex-Logitech executives for inflating result

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(Reuters) — The Securities and Exchange Commission has sued two former executives of computer accessories maker Logitech International S.A., accusing them of deceiving investors in 2011 by fraudulently concealing the poor performance of a failed TV set-top device.

In a complaint filed late on Monday in San Francisco federal court, the SEC said Logitech's former chief financial officer, Erik Bardman, and its former acting controller, Jennifer Wolf, schemed to inflate the company's operating income, causing a $30.7 million overstatement in fiscal 2011, and misled its outside auditor.

The SEC said the defendants did so after poor sales of Revue, a device to provide Internet usage and video streaming, forced Logitech to cut its profit forecast, and left them under “substantial pressure” to meet the reduced guidance.

In November 2014, Logitech restated its financial results for 2011 and 2012 because of accounting errors related to the timing of inventory writedowns for Revue, the SEC said. The company is based in Apples, Switzerland, and has offices in Newark, California.

It is unclear whether the defendants have hired lawyers. The SEC did not immediately respond on Tuesday to requests for comment.

The lawsuit seeks to force Mr. Bardman and Ms. Wolf to pay civil fines, give up ill-gotten gains and bonuses, and be banned from serving as officers or directors of public companies.