NEW YORK -- A federal judge said yesterday that he will seek a criminal investigation of Rafi Khan, an ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. stockholder, to determine whether the dissident shareholder lied under oath.
U.S. District Judge John Sprizzo in Manhattan said at the end of a hearing, which originally involved an ICN proxy fight, that he will ask federal prosecutors to investigate possible perjury by Mr. Khan.
Further, Judge Sprizzo blocked Mr. Khan from waging his proxy fight against the ICN board of directors, after finding that Mr. Khan concealed his checkered past from fellow ICN stockholders he is trying to woo.
Judge Sprizzo rejected protestations of innocence from Mr. Khan, who earlier yesterday denied assertions from ICN Pharmaceuticals that he tried to illegally hoard British Gas L. P. shares in the mid-1980s when the utility went private.
In an effort to discredit Mr. Khan and block him from advancing his campaign to topple the ICN board of directors, ICN brought Scotland Yard detective Jackie Malton two weeks ago to testify against Mr. Khan in Manhattan. Ms. Malton testified that police raided the home of Mr. Khan's parents in London in 1987 because she thought Mr. Khan had submitted applications in the names of unsuspecting people.
Mr. Khan's fight to oust ICN Chairman Milan Panic through a so-called consent solicitation began as a civil litigation between him and the Costa Mesa, Calif.-based drug company. That changed when Judge Sprizzo stated his suspicions that Mr. Khan probably lied during court proceedings this month. Judge Sprizzo will ask the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York to investigate Mr. Khan's statements about British Gas.
Mr. Khan has denied any wrongdoing.