(Reuters) – Acacia Research, the acquisition platform backed by activist hedge fund Starboard Value, said on Friday it had been conducting an internal investigation into the “apparent misconduct” of former chief executive officer Clifford Press.
The company said its preliminary findings showed that Press appeared to have misused corporate funds for personal use and for making charitable donations in his own name.
Lawyers for Press could not be immediately reached for comment. But in a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Press said Acacia’s claims were “entirely meritless” and had “already been refuted.”
In October, Acacia announced Press would resign as CEO and a director.
Acacia said that earlier on Friday, Press sued the company, seeking to be reinstated as a director. Acacia said the lawsuit “lacks merit.”
Shares of the company fell over 7% in extended trade.