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Checker Auto Scandal! Former CSK Chief Executives Charged With Major Financial Crimes

Two former executives of the company that owns Checker Auto Parts -- both local men -- have been charged in a 31-count federal indictment with falsifying reports, lying to an auditor, and other schemes intended to manipulate the company's reported earnings. 

Former CSK executives Martin G. Fraser, 53, of Glendale, and Don W. Watson, 53, of Gilbert, are being charged with "conspiracy, securities fraud, mail fraud, false filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), false books and records, and false statements to its auditor. Watson is charged separately with falsely certifying financial reports," according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Phoenix (see release below).

 

CSK also owns Kragen, Shuck's and Murray's auto parts stores.


Seems that Fraser, CSK's former CEO and president, and Watson, the company's former chief financial officer, are alleged to have hidden millions of dollars in "uncollectible receivables that it should have written off," the release says. If you're an accountant, you'll probably understand the alleged offenses better than we do -- but it sounds pretty serious. The penalties, if run consecutively, would have these former big-wigs spending the rest of their lives in a prison cell.

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More than just those two were in the scheme, supposedly: The former CSK controller, Edward William O'Brien III, pleaded guilty yesterday to obstruction of justice in the case, and the director of credits and receivables has been charged with the same crime.

Sounds like CSK kind of resembles a dirty air filter.

Checker Auto Bust Checker Auto Bust ray stern

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.