St. Louis Public Radio News
2:36 pm
Thu July 24, 2003

Former Cable Company Execs Indicted for Fraud

St. Louis, Mo. – A grand jury in St. Louis has handed down an indictment against four former executives of Charter Communications.

It alleges 14 criminal violations including inflation of revenue, cash flow, and subscriber numbers.

U.S. Attorney Ray Gruender says the St. Louis-based company overpaid a supplier for set-top boxes, and then accepted advertising revenue from the company.

"The result as alleged in the indictment is that this scheme fraudulently increased Charter's reported revenue and operating cash flow for the year 2000 by $17 million," Gruender said.

Gruender says former chief operating officer David Barford, former Chief Financial Officer Kent Kalkwarf, and two former vice presidents, David McCall and James Smith, are expected to turn themselves in by noon Friday.

The indictment also alleges Charter kept disconnected cable customers on its subscriber list and reported inflated customer numbers to the public.

In a statement, Charter executives say the company has since put in place a new management structure.