Dating stock options
I count no fewer than 38 top executives at 19 high-tech companies that have bit the dust over this stuff.We're talking top executives at big-name companies like Apple, Altera, Broadcom, Brocade, Cirrus Logic, Comverse, KLA-Tencor, Maxim, Mc Afee, Rambus, Sanmina-SCI, Take Two, Trident, Verisign, and Vitesse. That's serious fallout considering that options backdating is legit as long as the company reports it and accounts for it accurately.After all, stock option backdating is all the rage these days.You'd think they'd be up to their eyeballs in rope.And, he did not directly benefit from the backdated options because they were canceled and exchanged for restricted shares.
On July 11 the IRS released an internal Industry Director Directive memorandum dated June 15, 2007 (the "Directive"), which designates transactions involving backdated stock options as a "Tier I Issue" for IRS agents.
Never mind that Anderson, in a press release, claimed to have informed Jobs of the accounting implications of backdating options in 2001.
Or that Jobs gave up his outstanding options, which were "underwater," in exchange for 5 million restricted shares in 2003.
Anderson got nailed because, according to the complaint, he should have noticed what Heinen was doing and either stopped it or reported the expense properly.
He also exercised and sold 750,000 back-dated shares.If you cover it up and fail to report that expense, the way Apple's folks allegedly did, well, that amounts to accounting fraud.While a few of those 38 terminations may turn out to be the result of such activity, it's likely that the vast majority fell on their swords to avoid sullying the good names of their companies.As noted below, the directive also signals the IRS's intention to pursue the issue against individuals who received such options.