SEC report on FTE Networks Management Team: Michael Palleschi as CEO and Chairman of the Board and David Lethem, CFO.
The former top executives of FTE Networks, a onetime telecommunications company whose stock was delisted last year from the New York Stock Exchange, were separately charged Thursday by federal prosecutors and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office on a raft of criminal counts.
The two men, Michael Palleschi and David Lethem, were also sued in a civil complaint by the Securities and Exchange Commission for the same conduct that is the basis of the criminal indictment against them in federal court.
Palleschi, the ex-CEO of FTE Networks, and Lethem, the company’s former chief financial officer, are accused in the federal case and SEC complaint of a broad scheme to fraudulently hide FTE Networks’ deteriorating financial condition from 2016 through 2019.
The men also are accused in those cases of embezzling millions of dollars from the company to pay for private jet use, luxury automobiles, personal credit cards, unauthorized wire transfer, stock issuances and unauthorized salary increases.
In the grand jury indictment obtained by the office of Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr., the men are accused of stealing more than $28 million in construction trust assets from a Manhattan-based firm, Benchmark Builders, beginning in November 2018.
The men allegedly diverted those assets from the company, which was a wholly owned subsidiary of FTE Networks, to repay…