Third Charter Exec Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges

Jan 4, 2005  •  Post A Comment

A third former executive of Charter Communications on Tuesday pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges in connection with a scheme to inflate subscriber numbers at the debt-laden cable company.

James Smith III, 56, pleaded guilty in a federal court to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with the case. He faces sentencing April 1.

Mr. Smith, a former Charter senior VP based in California, was one of four former executives of the Paul Allen-controlled cable company to be indicted in July 2003 in connection with the subscriber-count scandal. David Barford, Charter’s former chief operating officer, pleaded guilty to the same charge Dec. 16, while David McCall, another senior VP, pleaded guilty to a similar charge in July 2003.

The fourth executive, former Chief Financial Officer Kent Kalkwarf, faces 14 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and is expected to stand trial Feb. 7.