Backdating options legal

And in addition to officer and director bars imposed by government authorities, internal investigations have led to numerous officer resignations from at least 25 companies including Quest Software, KB Homes, United Health Group, Inc., Mc Afee, Inc., CNET Networks, Inc., and Monster Worldwide.

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.

the release of bad news that cause the stock price to take a temporary dip, which increases the probability that the option will become profitable in the short term.The SEC is investigating many companies, ranging from small to Fortune 500 companies, for options irregularities.Similarly, the FBI has reported that it has 52 companies under criminal investigation. Department of Justice has said it will bring criminal charges where defendants falsify corporate books and records; issue false financial statements; lie to boards of directors, auditors or the SEC; or file false reports.Fortunately, the government appears to appreciate the difference between backdated options that involve the “intentional alteration of documents or faulty internal control and dating issues arising from ministerial or logistical delays.” Unfortunately, the plaintiffs’ bar is not so discerning.Public announcements that a company or the SEC is investigating possible backdating issues have spawned a rash of civil suits.

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