Federal attorneys have charged John N. Milne with civil and criminal violations that could force him to pay fines of $13.25 million, give up $17 million in stock profit and serve up to 75 years in jail. Milne, co-founder of Greenwich, Conn.-based United Rentals Inc. and its former president, finance and acquisitions chief, is the third executive to be charged under a widening probe into the world’s largest rental operator’s accounting. The roll-up firm fired Milne in 2005 after he refused to cooperate with an internal review of six sale-leasebacks, whose “interlocking” terms were hidden from auditors and wrongfully posted as profit, says the federal complaint. Westport, Conn.-based Terex Corp. was allegedly involved in two of the leases, while three other manufacturers, party to other lease deals, have not yet been named. Milne is charged with conspiracy, securities fraud, insider trading, false filings and other violations.
United Rentals Co-Founder Indicted as Fraud Probe Widens
April 16, 2008