Industrial Enterprises Suspends CFO


The board of directors of automotive aftermarket supplier Industrial Enterprises of America Inc. suspended Chief Financial Officer Jorge Yepes as of Nov. 6, to conduct an internal integrity review. The review is being conducted to investigate possible violations of the companys policies and procedures, the company said in a statement Nov. 7.

The company did not respond to Lube Reports requests for comments and additional information.

According to Industrial Enterprises of Americas Nov. 8 filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, Chief Executive Officer John Mazzuto assumed the role of acting CFO of the company on Nov. 7. The suspension of Mr. Yepes does not relate to any accounting or auditing issues, or the Form 10-KSB or Form 10-QST with respect to the company, the SEC filing stated. Form 10-KSB is an annual financial report, and Form 10-QSB is a quarterly financial report.

Yepes joined the company as CFO in September. He previously served as vice president of finance, Americas, for Avery Dennison, and served as director of finance, Latin America, for The Clorox Co. from 2002 to 2005.

In October, the company said its management was conducting a review of its accounting practices. At the time, company President and Chief Operating Officer Dan Redmond said, New Chief Financial Officer Jorge Yepes and I are committed to improving the financial reporting and transparency of the company. Since my arrival in April of this year, Industrial Enterprises has made numerous strides improving manufacturing efficiencies and operational controls. We are dedicated to restoring our financial transparency in the marketplace.

This past April, the company purchased lubes and additives marketer Hi-Tach Oil Co. Inc. for $350,000 in a combination of cash and promissory notes. In January 2006, Industrial Enterprises acquired Pitt Penn Oil, a compounder blender in Creighton, Pa., for $4 million. The company said it would move manufacturing of Hi-Tach Oils product lines to the Pitt Penn facilities. Redmond served as president of Pitt Penn for three months earlier this year before becoming Industrial Enterprises president and COO in July.

The company originally started in late 2004, acquiring EMC Packaging Inc., a refrigerant gases supplier that had been publicly traded. Industrial Enterprises later added Todays Way Manufacturing, a producer of specialty automotive products, and Unifide Industries Ltd., which markets and sells them.

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