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Two Former NewCom Officers Agree to Plead Guilty

Former CEO, executive vice president agree to accept charges including fraud and conspiracy.

October 16, 2003|E. Scott Reckard | Times Staff Writer

Two former officers of NewCom Inc., a defunct computer gear maker in Westlake Village, agreed to plead guilty one week before their trial was to begin on charges of booking fake sales and falsifying Securities and Exchange Commission reports, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Former NewCom Chief Executive Sultan W. Khan, 58, of Pacific Palisades pleaded guilty Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper in Los Angeles to securities violations, wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy, Assistant U.S. Atty. Michael R. Wilner said.

Former NewCom Executive Vice President Asif M. Khan, 58, of Westlake Village, who is no relation to Sultan Khan, has agreed to plead guilty today to similar charges and to creating phony invoices, said Assistant U.S. Atty. Pamela L. Johnston, another prosecutor in the case.

Sultan Khan also pleaded guilty to participating in a kickback scheme with a vendor enabling the men to embezzle more than $1 million from NewCom.

They face prison terms of about six years each under federal sentencing guidelines, prosecutors said.

Former NewCom Chief Financial Officer Steven C. Veen, 48, of Downey is scheduled to stand trial next week on charges of making false statements in filings and testimony to the SEC. His attorney, Marc S. Harris, said Veen had been unaware of the fraud.

The government contended that NewCom, a spinoff from El Segundo-based Aura Systems Inc., booked more than $40 million in phony revenue in 1998 and 1999.

Attorneys for Sultan Khan and Asif Khan could not be reached for comment.

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