SEC files complaint against officers of trucking firm

| 10/14/2003

The federal Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a complaint in U.S. District Court against three officers of Professional Transportation Group, a trucking company that was based in Marietta, GA.

Court complaints have been filed in the Northern District of Georgia against Dennis A. Bakal, the company’s CEO, Susan P. Dial, who served as CFO, and William S. Cole, who was Professional Transportation’s controller. All are residents of the Atlanta area.

In a statement and court filings, the commission contends that Bakal and Dial inflated the company's net income by recording sales that never happened. That led, according to the SEC, to Professional Transportation recording a net profit of $402,000 instead of its real financial results, a loss of $1.7 million, for the nine months that ended Sept. 30, 1999.

In addition, the SEC alleged that all three officers took part in inflating the company's net income by recording sales and receivables actually earned by another trucking firm, which was controlled, the agency said, by Professional Transportation's majority shareholder.

An attorney for Dial, contacted by The Atlanta Business Chronicle, disputed the allegations.

"Ms. Dial was essentially a staff accountant who was ordered to be CFO," the attorney, Walter Jospin of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP, told the business publication. "She was never compensated like a CFO of a public company – she received a very modest salary and made no money from the company's stock."

Cole’s attorney, Pat Huddleston, told the publication he is cooperating with the SEC.

The complaint, which was filed Sept. 26, asks the court to order the defendants to repay any money received as a result of the actions they are accused of, as well as civil penalties.