United States of America v. Richard Hawkins

The Situation

In 1999, McKesson, a San Francisco-based distributor of pharmaceuticals, merged with HBO & Co. When McKesson uncovered accounting irregularities in HBO & Co.’s financials after the merger, the company's stock fell, reducing its capitalization by more than $8 billion. McKesson’s Chief Financial Officer at the time of the HBO merger, Richard Hawkins, was accused of inflating profit numbers at the company shortly after the merger and was subsequently charged by the Northern District US Attorney's Office with securities fraud, conspiracy, and making false statements to an auditor.

NERA's Role

In connection with Mr. Hawkins’s federal securities trial, NERA Senior Vice President Dr. Alan Cox worked with Mr. Hawkins’s attorneys, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, to prepare an expert report analyzing the impact of the alleged fraud on the price of McKesson Corporation’s shares.

The Result

US District Judge Martin Jenkins found the evidence against Mr. Hawkins unconvincing, and, after a six week bench trial, Mr. Hawkins was acquitted of all charges of securities fraud.