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Former Gemstar CEO Yuen hit with obstruction charge

May 14, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Henry C. Yuen, the former chairman and chief executive of Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc., was charged by the Justice Department with obstructing an investigation into accounting irregularities.

Yuen was charged with a felony count of obstructing a Securities and Exchange Commission probe of alleged irregularities at Gemstar from 1999 through 2002, the department said in a statement Tuesday.

The Justice Department said Yuen deleted from his computer documents that the SEC had sought in its investigation. It also said that the day before he was supposed to testify before the agency in 2003, he manipulated his computer to make it impossible to recover the deleted documents.

David Scheper, a lawyer for Yuen, and Carolyn Newburn, a spokeswoman for Gemstar's parent company, Macrovision Solutions Corp. in Santa Clara, Calif., didn't return calls seeking comment.

In an SEC civil lawsuit two years ago, a federal judge in Los Angeles found Yuen liable for securities fraud for misleading investors and auditors by inflating sales from 1999 to 2002. Yuen was ordered to pay $22.3 million in fines and forfeitures.

In a hearing last year, an SEC lawyer said Yuen has made no effort to pay the judgment and had about $150 million in assets outside the U.S.

Gemstar-TV Guide, whose technology helps pay-TV customers navigate the 500-channel universe with an on-screen program guide, was bought May 2 by Macrovision in a deal initially valued at $2.8 billion in cash and stock.

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