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Ex-Systemax exec settles charges in SEC case

Gilbert Fiorentino on Jan. 8, 2010. The former

Gilbert Fiorentino on Jan. 8, 2010. The former Systemax Inc. executive has asked to be admitted into a substance-abuse program while in prison, saying he has long struggled with addiction and was drinking heavily while bilking the Long Island company. Credit: AP

A former executive with Port Washington-based Systemax Inc. has agreed to pay $65,000 to settle civil charges filed by federal regulators accusing him of skimming more than $400,000 from the electronics retailer, authorities said Monday.

Gilbert Fiorentino, 51, was charged in federal court in Miami by the Securities and Exchange Commission with stealing merchandise and illicitly taking undisclosed compensation from companies doing business with Systemax between 2006 and 2010. Fiorentino, of Miami, resigned last year after an anonymous whistle-blower sparked an internal investigation.

"Fiorentino brazenly stole from Systemax and betrayed the trust of its shareholders," said Eric I. Bustillo, head of the SEC's Miami office.

In settling, Fiorentino neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing. Neither a lawyer for Fiorentino nor a spokeswoman for the company responded to calls seeking comment.

As part of his settlement, Fiorentino is barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company. After the SEC began investigating, Fiorentino repaid Systemax $480,000 and surrendered stock and stock options valued at roughly $9.1 million.

Systemax is Long Island's 15th largest publicly traded company by stock market value. It sells computers, consumer electronics and industrial products in North America and Europe.

The company owns the brands CompUSA and Circuit City, which has sold products online after closing its stores following a 2008 bankruptcy.


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