Former Cendant Chairman Sentenced to Jail, Fine

Walter Forbes, former chairman of the Cendant Corp., last week received a sentence of 12 years and seven months, plus a $3.275 billion fine, according to the Associated Press.

Forbes was convicted in October of conspiracy to commit fraud and making false statements in relation to a fraud scheme costing investors more than $3 billion. His appeal for leniency was unsuccessful. He remains free on $1.2 million bail.

The accounting fraud caused Cendant shares to freefall $14 billion in market value in a single day in 1998 when the fraud was revealed.

In October 2005, Cendant, then an $18 billion conglomerate, owned companies such as The Corcoran Group, Century 21, Days Inn and Orbitz. That month the firm announced a wide-ranging breakup into four different companies. Under the plan approved by Cendant's board, the company was to be divided into real estate, hospitality, travel distribution and vehicle rental businesses.

Cendant separated into four companies in 2006. Two of the companies, Realogy and Wyndham Worldwide, spun off as independent publicly traded companies in July. A third company, Travelport, was sold in August to an affiliate of The Blackstone Group. In September, Cendant changed its name to Avis Budget Group.

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