Watching the Detectives

Risk consultancy -- and detective agency -- Kroll hires new CFO. Also: Immune Response may not be a going concern, CFO just going. Plus: former Unify CFO makes a deal with the Feds.

>>Management at risk consultancy (and detective agency) Kroll Inc. hired Steven Ford as chief financial officer. Ford replaces controller Michael Petrullo, who’s been acting CFO since November…. Ford joins Kroll from Atlanta telecom Telscape International Inc., where he was executive VP and CFO. Spent 1994 to 2000 as VP, international CFO, and controller for credit history specialist Equifax Inc… During 1998 to 2000, also was European finance director in company’s London office… No word on whether Ford gets a salary or a retainer.

Meanwhile, Petrullo is getting promoted to deputy chief operating officer… Petrullo joined Kroll as assistant controller in 1995 and became controller in 1998… In 1999, he was appointed VP of finance for investigations and intelligence group. In 2000, took over as VP and controller of company…

>> Scenario: a company’s auditors say it doubt’s that company can last as a going concern. Said company also reports year-over-year loss and vanishing revenue. Question: would that be a good time for the company CFO to quit?

Apparently it is — at least in the case of The Immune Response Corp.. Biotech company announced CFO Howard Sampson has resigned… Clearly not in the best health, HIV-drug developer reported on Tuesday its auditors have questioned company’s ability to continue functioning… Immune Response also reported a loss of $5.2 million for Q1, compared with a loss of $5.1 million a year ago… Research revenue fell to $9,000 from $1 million a year ago…

While Immune Response indicated it has enough cash to operate into June, company would need additional funds to continue beyond that… Carlsbad, Calif., company did raise $4 million in a convertible note in May. But half of that went toward paying off short-term promissory note…

>> Mark Voll is the comeback kid at Monolithic System Technology Inc.…Voll, who was finance chief at the chip designer two years ago, will return to the post in June upon retirement of current CFO F. Judson Mitchell… Mitchell had been with MoSys since July 2000, helping see company through last year’s public offering… Voll has been spending ‘tween-MoSys years as CFO at Axis Systems…

>>According to MoSys CEO Fu-Chieh Hsu, one reason for bringing Voll back is knowledge of the company’s business model — it licenses its chip designs — which he helped develop.

Insider

The Feds are after former Unify CFO Gary Pado. After an investigation of Silicon Valley tech firms over accounting irregularities, the U.S. Attorney’s office filed charges of criminal securities fraud against Pado and former Unify CEO Gholamreza Mikailli. Securities and Exchange Commission also filed civil suits against the two men. Mikailli accused of fabricating millions in phony sales at Unify. In addition, Mikailli charged with pocketing $4 million in illegal stock trades. Former Unify CFO faces up to 10 years in federal prison if conficted… Pado apparently opted not to risk time in the slammer: Last week he struck a deal with the government in which he pleaded guilty to securities fraud and agreed to cooperate with investigators…

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