US Attorney’s Office and SEC in San Francisco Winding Down Efforts on Options Backdating Cases

Joe Russoniello, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California and Marc Fagel, Regional Director of the Commission’s San Francisco Regional Office, state that their offices are winding down efforts on the options backdating issue, the Mercury News reports.

Marc Fagel

Fagel stated that the SEC did “find multiple instances of what we believe to be fraudulent manipulation,” and that some lingering suits are still pending.  According to research gathered by the Mercury News,

at least 130 companies reported finding some problems with backdated stock options. Dozens have been forced to restate several years worth of earnings. Those include Juniper Networks, which restated earnings by $900 million. Brocade Communications Systems had close to $1 billion in restatements. And Maximum Integrated restated $495 million worth of earnings, and spent another $275 million on investigating the issue and settling with shareholders.

Fagel’s office alone sued 50 executives at more than 20 companies. So far, they’ve reached settlements with 15 companies. Russoniello filed criminal charges against three people, resulting in two convictions and one acquittal.

And then there are the 40 shareholder lawsuits filed since 2005, according to the Stanford Securities Class Action Clearinghouse.

Read the Mercury News article