First charges filed on executive loan ban

WASHINGTON (AP) – US regulators brought and settled charges against a pair of Greek shipping executives who allegedly violated a 2002 ban on public company loans to executives. These were the first charges under the ban, which was part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a package of corporate reforms. Peter Goodfellow, the former chief executive of Stelmar Shipping Ltd, based in Athens, and Stamatis Molaris, the company’s former chief financial officer, agreed to a cease-and-desist order to settle the Securities and Exchange Commission proceeding. Stelmar, whose shares were listed exclusively on the New York Stock Exchange, was acquired this year by another NYSE-listed company, Overseas Shipholding Group Inc. Goodfellow, age 58, and Molaris, 42, settled without admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations that they authorized interest-free loans to themselves in the fall of 2003. According to the SEC, in October 2003, Molaris approved a loan for about $169,000 to Goodfellow, who in turn approved a $125,000 loan to Molaris. The company’s other directors weren’t informed about the loans, which were later repaid, the SEC said.