A former chief financial officer for Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. has reportedly reached an agreement to pay $25,000 to the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle civil charges related to the company's $250 million accounting fraud.

Craig Waggy, Gemstar's finance chief from September 1997 to May 2002, was accused by the SEC of aiding the company's record-keeping violations of federal securities laws. According to reports, the SEC dropped fraud charges against Waggy, and he will be able to practice as an accountant before the SEC and remain eligible to serve as an officer or director of a public company

Waggy's fine is much lighter than those levied against the company's former co-president, co-chief operating officer, and board member Peter C. Boylan ($600,000) and former general counsel, executive vice president, and board member Jonathan Orlick ($300,000).

The SEC must still officially approve Waggy's deal. Last month the SEC reached a tentative settlement with another of Gemstar's former chief financial officers, Elsie Leung. Former chief executive Harry Yuen's civil trial on SEC charges is under way

Gemstar's businesses include TV Guide magazine and electronics licensing. Both Yuen and chief financial officer Leung were forced out in late 2002 after the company was discovered to have inflated advertising sales since 1999. Last year, Gemstar agreed to pay a $10 million civil penalty to settle charges that it had overstated revenues, and both Gemstar and auditor KPMG settled a class-action lawsuit brought by company shareholders for $67.5 million and $25 million, respectively .

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