WWE SEC filing on $5 million more in payments made by Vince McMahon

Aug 9, 2022 - by Staff

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.

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