Former suburban CEO acquitted of all counts in $24 million fraud case

The former CEO of Wood Dale-based Power Solutions International Inc. was accused of recording incomplete sales as complete.

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Dirksen Federal Courthouse

Dirksen Federal Courthouse

Sun-Times file photo

A former executive of a suburban manufacturing company has been acquitted in a federal case that accused him of inflating revenue reports by $24 million.

Following a four-week bench trial, U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman on Monday cleared Gary Winemaster of all counts.

Winemaster, the former CEO of Power Solutions International Inc. based in Wood Dale, was charged in 2019 with 10 counts of wire fraud, as well as counts of securities fraud, making false statements and failing to certify financial reports.

Winemaster was accused in a complex accounting “bill and hold” scheme in which incomplete sales were recorded as complete. The company’s accountants were allegedly kept unaware of the false transactions.

Winemaster’s attorneys argued that he was unaware of any alleged improper transactions, pointing to lack of evidence and witnesses who could prove otherwise.

The prosecution’s theory was based on “sweeping claims that rely on Winemaster’s omniscience” that weren’t backed by evidence, Winemaster’s attorneys argued in a post-trial brief.

Winemaster’s two co-defendants, former general managers at the company Craig Davis and James Needham were also found not guilty of all counts.

“Today’s decision is an important vindication for our client, who acted in good faith and in the best interests of PSI shareholders,” said Winemaster’s lead defense counsel Sean Berkowitz.

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