David Hurley, a former chief operating officer at aaiPharma, has pled guilty to fraud conspiracy charges, The Durham herald-Sun reported Friday in a dispatch from The Associated Press.

The AP, citing a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Western North Carolina in Charlotte, said Hurley had been charged as part of a “scheme” to inflate aaiPharma sales results in 2003. Hurley left the company in early 2004. He had been president of aaiPharma’s pharmaceutical division before taking the COO post in January of 2004.

aaiPharma is now in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The Wilmington-based pharmaceutical firm launched an internal investigation of sales reports on March 1 of 2004. Since then, the company’s stock price has slid from more than $26 a share to less than 30 cents.

aaiPharma: www.aaiPharma.com