The WWE Board of Directors investigation into former Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon and former Talent Relations head John Laurinaitis has uncovered another $5 million in payments made by McMahon.
A new WWE SEC filing issued today notes that two additional payments totaling $5 million have been uncovered by the investigation. These are unrelated to the previous payments that were revealed, and were made in 2007 and 2009. WWE noted that the payments “were or will be paid” back by Vince personally.
WWE is revising previous financial statements to record the payments, and they are delaying their Q2 2022 earnings report, which was expected soon.
The WWE SEC filing also confirmed that Laurinaitis is no longer with the company. It was also confirmed that the Board of Directors investigation remains ongoing.
Below is the full WWE SEC filing issued today, along with previous links to our ongoing coverage of the McMahon – Laurinaitis investigation:
On June 17, 2022, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (the “Company”) and its Board of Directors announced that a special committee of independent members of the Board of Directors (the “Special Committee”) was conducting an investigation into alleged misconduct by the Company’s former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Vincent K. McMahon, who resigned from all positions held with the Company on July 22, 2022 but remains a stockholder with a controlling interest, and another executive, who is also no longer with the Company.
On July 25, 2022, the Company announced that it has made a preliminary determination that certain payments that Vince McMahon agreed to make during the period from 2006 through 2022 (including amounts paid and payable in the future totaling $14.6 million) were not appropriately recorded as expenses in the Company’s consolidated financial statements.
Since that time, the Company has determined that two additional payments totaling $5.0 million, unrelated to the allegations that led to the Special Committee investigation, that Mr. McMahon made in 2007 and 2009 should have been recorded in the Company’s consolidated financial statements. Together, these unrecorded expenses total $19.6 million (the “Unrecorded Expenses”). The Company has evaluated the Unrecorded Expenses and has determined that such amounts should have been recorded as expenses in each of the periods in which they became probable and estimable. All payments underlying the Unrecorded Expenses were or will be paid by Mr. McMahon personally. The Special Committee investigation remains ongoing.
Although the Company continues to evaluate the impact of the Unrecorded Expenses on previously issued financial statements, the Company has preliminarily determined that the amount of Unrecorded Expenses was not material in any individual period in which the Unrecorded Expenses arose, but that the aggregate amount of Unrecorded Expenses would be material if recorded entirely in the second quarter of 2022.
Accordingly, the Company currently anticipates that it will revise its previously issued financial statements to record the Unrecorded Expenses in the applicable periods for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021, as well as the first quarter of 2022, when it issues its financial statements for the second quarter of 2022.
In light of the Unrecorded Expenses and related facts thereto, the Company also expects to conclude that its disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting were not effective as a result of one or more material weaknesses. The Company continues to evaluate the appropriate accounting treatment for the Unrecorded Expenses, as well as its disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting, and its ultimate conclusions on these topics may differ from what the Company currently anticipates.
The Company has also received, and may receive in the future, regulatory, investigative and enforcement inquiries, subpoenas or demands arising from, related to, or in connection with these matters.
As a result of the circumstances described above, the Company is unable to file, without unreasonable effort and expense, its Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended June 30, 2022 (the “Report”). The Company currently anticipates that it will file the Report within the five day extension period provided under Rule 12b-25 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, but there can be no assurance that it will be able to do so. The Company provided preliminary estimates of certain financial results that it expects to report for the quarter ended June 30, 2022 in a Current Report on Form 8-K filed on July 25, 2022 (SEC File No. 001-16131).
As we’ve noted, it was initially revealed on Wednesday, June 15 that WWE’s Board of Directors had been investigating then-Chairman & CEO Vince over the “secret $3 million settlement” he made to a former paralegal that was hired in 2019. Then-Talent Relations head Laurinaitis was also being investigated for his involvement, and it was revealed that the Board had been looking into other instances with former female employees as well. It was then announced on Friday, June 17 that Stephanie McMahon returned from her leave of absence to act as the Interim CEO & Interim Chairwoman after Vince voluntarily stepped away from his Chairman & CEO corporate duties, while still continuing his creative responsibilities, at least at that time. It was then revealed on Monday, June 20 that Bruce Prichard, WWE’s Senior Vice President and RAW/SmackDown Executive Producer, was working as the Interim Senior Vice President of Talent Relations, filling in for Laurinaitis during the investigation. It was then revealed on Friday, July 8, that McMahon agreed to pay more than $12 million in “hush money” to four women, including a former wrestler, as another round of allegations were made public. Prichard is no longer working the interim role as WWE announced on July 22 that Triple H is the new WWE Executive Vice President of Talent Relations. Vince’s retirement was announced hours after Triple H’s new role was announced, and Vince was the first to confirm that Stephanie is the new Chairwoman & Co-CEO, along with Co-CEO Nick Khan. Laurinaitis is also gone from the company. WWE announced on July 25 that Triple H is also the new head of creative. WWE also announced on July 25 that previous financial statements were being revised due to “certain unrecorded expenses” by Vince, in the amount of $14.6 million, which are the payouts to various women. WWE noted then that Vince was personally re-paying the amount. It was also revealed on July 25 that the federal government is investigating the McMahon payouts. It was then revealed today, August 9, that another $5 million in payments was made by McMahon, and he will be paying that money back to the company like the previous payments. You can find full details at the links below, including statements from Vince and Stephanie, full details on the anonymous e-mails that led to the investigations, the “hush money” pacts, and more.
Stay tuned to WrestlingHeadlines.com for more. Below are links to our various reports on the McMahon – Laurinaitis situation and the recent fallout.
FULL COVERAGE OF THE VINCE MCMAHON – JOHN LAURINAITIS ALLEGATIONS AND FALLOUT:
– WWE Reveals $5 Million More In Payments Made By Vince McMahon
– Backstage Updates on WWE and John Laurinaitis, WWE’s Board of Directors Investigation
– Linda McMahon Comments on Vince McMahon’s WWE Retirement After Being Pressed By Reporter
– Vince McMahon WWE Stock Update, Vince’s WWE Ownership, Linda McMahon Note
– Wrestlers Interested In Working for WWE Again, Backstage Talk on Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, More
– New Interesting Backstage Talk on How Vince McMahon Was During Creative Meetings and Live TV Production
– USA Network Looks Ahead to Big WWE Changes, USA on Fan Reactions to Triple H Taking Over Creative
– Top WWE Stars Jab at Vince McMahon’s Retirement on RAW
– What Triple H Promised to WWE Talents In Pre-RAW Backstage Meeting, More Backstage Notes
– Vince McMahon Reportedly Being Investigated By the Federal Government, Retirement Impacted By Investigations
– Vince McMahon Facing Additional Investigations?, More on Vince’s Exit from WWE
– Backstage News on Vince McMahon’s Transition to Retirement, USA’s Response to WWE Creative Change, More
– WWE Restates Financial Statements Due to Unrecorded Vince McMahon Expenses, Vince to Pay Money Back
– Triple H Named Head of WWE Creative, WWE Officially Names Stephanie McMahon and Nick Khan as Co-CEOs, Preliminary Q2 Earnings
– Backstage News on Brock Lesnar Working WWE SmackDown After Walking Out Earlier
– Stephanie McMahon and WWE Fans Send “Thank You” Message to Vince McMahon
– Read Vince McMahon’s Full Retirement Letter Sent to WWE Employees
– Brock Lesnar Officially Pulled from WWE SmackDown
– WWE SmackDown Backstage Mood, Rumor on Another Departure, Meeting Held After Vince McMahon’s Retirement Announcement, More
– Tony Khan Jokingly Reacts To Vince McMahon’s Retirement: “I’m Grateful To Now Be The Longest-Tenured CEO In Pro Wrestling”
– WWE to Replace Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam?, More on Lesnar’s Reaction to Vince McMahon’s Retirement
– Backstage News on Vince McMahon’s Retirement, Stephanie McMahon and Nick Khan’s New WWE Roles, More
– Brock Lesnar Reportedly Leaves SmackDown, Upset Over Vince McMahon’s WWE Retirement
– Vince McMahon Retires from WWE
– Triple H at WWE SmackDown, Backstage Talk on Triple H’s New Role, Bruce Prichard Update, More
– WWE Announces Triple H’s New Executive Role, Triple H Comments
– More Vince McMahon Allegations To Be Revealed?, Possible Reasons Mainstream Media Didn’t Give Significant Attention to Recent WSJ Report–
– Netflix Reportedly Pulls Vince McMahon Project, Millions of Dollars Spent
– Backstage Reactions to Vince McMahon Allegations, What Vince Allegedly Shouted After WWE TV Appearance, More
– WWE Issues Internal Statement on Latest Vince McMahon Allegations
– Vince McMahon Reportedly Paid Millions of Dollars In “Hush Money” to Former Wrestler and Others
– News on Who Made the Decision to Name Stephanie McMahon as WWE’s Interim CEO & Chairwoman
– Stephanie McMahon Addresses Investigation Into Her Father During WWE HQ Meeting
– How Much Value WWE Has Lost Since Vince McMahon Scandal Broke, WWE Ratings Up Due to Buzz?
– WWE Now Facing Multiple Potential Class Action Lawsuits
– Bruce Prichard Gets More WWE Power, John Laurinaitis Update, Backstage Concern Over Latest Major Move
– Vince McMahon Makes Surprise WWE RAW Appearance to Hype Big Return
– More Details On Vince McMahon’s Mood, Backstage Atmosphere At Friday’s WWE SmackDown
– Vince McMahon Opens Tonight’s WWE SmackDown, Video of the Segment
– “Weird” Atmosphere at WWE SmackDown, Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis Updates, Stephanie McMahon Talk, More
– Backstage Update on Vince McMahon’s SmackDown Appearance, Internal WWE Reactions to Today’s Announcement, More
– Stephanie McMahon Sends Message to WWE Staff After Today’s Huge Announcement
– Vince McMahon Announced for WWE SmackDown
– Stephanie McMahon Named Interim CEO of WWE, Vince McMahon Issues Statement on Stepping Away During Investigation
– Pat McAfee Reacts to Vince McMahon Allegations, Thinks We Will Never Get the Truth
– WWE Statement to Employees on Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis Investigation, Backstage News and Talk on Vince’s Future, More
– Anonymous E-mails Lead to Investigation Into Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis Over Relationships with Ex-WWE Female Employees, WWE Issues Statement
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