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CC&N named best ESOP in Wisconsin; Nasdaq says Koss Corp. is noncompliant for stock listing; Legislature approves bills for Roth conversions and BadgerCare Basic

CC&N named best ESOP in Wisconsin

CC&N, a Pewaukee-based provider of technology, communications and connectivity solutions, has been named ESOP Company of the Year by the Wisconsin Chapter of The ESOP Association. The company will be honored at the state ESOP conference on March 3 in Madison and will continue on to compete at the national level for ESOP Company of the Year.

CC&N was selected based on its communication with employees; commitment to employee participation, wealth creation and individual dignity and worth; and its financial stability.

CC&N recently celebrated its 15th anniversary as an ESOP. During that time, its stock has consistently outperformed the stock market, compared to the S&P 500 and Russell 2000 index. Despite the tough economic climate, CC&N posted a profit in 2009.

“We’re extremely proud of this award because each of our 160 employee-owners can take credit for it,” says Lisa Reardon, president of CC&N. “Our employees embrace the advantages of being company owners, and they understand that providing a high level of expertise and exceptional customer service to our clients directly benefits them. It’s one of our competitive advantages. No other company structure delivers such motivation to every employee.”


Nasdaq says Koss Corp. is noncompliant for stock listing

Koss Corp. has received notice from The Nasdaq Stock Market that because the company’s most recent annual report contained no financial statements, it is incomplete and does not comply with Listing Rule 5250(c)(1), which requires the timely filing of periodic financial statements.

Koss has 60 calendar days, or until April 20, to submit a plan to regain compliance on the exchange. If the compliance plan is accepted, Nasdaq can grant an exception of up to 180 calendar days from the filing’s due date, or until August 16, to regain compliance. If the compliance plan is not accepted, Koss will have the opportunity to appeal that decision to a Nasdaq hearings panel.

As previously disclosed, because of unauthorized financial transactions, Koss is restating its previously issued financial statements for the fiscal years ended 2008 and 2009, for all quarterly periods during those fiscal years, and for the period ended Sept. 30, 2009.

Koss anticipates that the restated consolidated financial statements will be available as early as April but no later than June. The quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended Dec. 31, 2009, will be amended to include the unaudited consolidated quarterly financial statements promptly after the restated consolidated financial statements are available.

On Feb. 16 and 18, separate shareholder derivative suits were filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court in connection with the previously disclosed unauthorized transactions. The first suit names as defendants Michael Koss, John Koss Sr., the other Koss directors, Sujata Sachdeva, Grant Thornton LLP, and Koss Corp.

The second suit names the same parties, with the exception of Grant Thornton LLP. Among other things, both suits allege various breaches of fiduciary and other duties, and seek recovery of unspecified damages and other relief.

Sachdeva is accused of embezzling more than $30 million from the company.

Legislature approves bills for Roth conversions and BadgerCare Basic

The Wisconsin Assembly passed a bill late last week that would bring the state’s regulations of Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA) conversions into line with federal regulations, while the State Senate narrowly approved a bill to create a new stopgap health insurance program for the working poor.

The same Roth IRA bill was approved by the state Senate recently, and the measure now awaits Gov. Jim Doyle’s signature.

Tim Steffen, financial and estate planning manager for Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.’s Private Wealth Management Group, hailed the passage of the bill.

 “Without enactment of this bill, Wisconsin will be the only state in the country with restrictions on Roth conversions, allowing only taxpayers with income below $100,000 to do the conversion. In a time when all states are facing budget shortfalls, Wisconsin legislators were concerned about a Legislative Fiscal Bureau study showing that the conversion legislation would have a net negative impact on tax revenue. However, a second study has since shown that expanding Roth conversions would create a short-term revenue increase. This fact, combined with public pressure, led to the state Legislature approving these changes,” Steffen said.

The bill includes a provision that maintains the amount Wisconsin taxpayers may contribute to retirement plans beyond 2010, thereby matching the federal limitations in place for next year. Without this bill, Wisconsin residents would face lower maximum contribution amounts for 2011.

“Finally, the bill also adopts a variety of retirement plan provisions benefiting members of the armed services that are part of the federal Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Act of 2008. Included in those items are exceptions to IRA contribution and withdrawal limitations,” Steffen said.

With a 17-16 vote, the Senate approved a bill meant to serve 25,000 state residents who are on the waiting list for the BadgerCAre Core Plus program.

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