Is option backdating illegal


14-May-2017 08:03

But even if no criminal charges are filed, the SEC still can bring a civil fraud action in federal court.This sort of case can be brought against the corporation and its officers and directors and can result in the disgorgement of profits, stiff monetary penalties, and prohibitions against officers and directors serving any public company in those capacities in the future.As in other enforcement areas, the SEC has a penchant for pursuing through civil actions matters that involve blatant and intentional misconduct.Of course, the imposition of an officer and director bar against those who are intimately involved with the backdating process can result in a corporation losing its founder or other key management personnel.Under previous regulations, corporations could wait 45 days or, in some cases, over a year to report options, thus providing ample time for backdating.Other similar practices are being reviewed by government officials as well.The SEC is investigating many companies, ranging from small to Fortune 500 companies, for options irregularities.

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Even Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs was implicated by an internal investigation into backdating, although he apparently did not receive, or otherwise benefit from, the backdated grants.Likewise, in a case involving Comverse Technology Inc., the U. Attorney charged the former CEO, the former CFO, and the former General Counsel with violating securities laws.



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