Broc Romanek provides an article that will help you get up to speed on the option back-dating scandal – including links to other resources (risk free trial registration required):
"This WSJ article from last week notes that the SEC has ramped up its examination of options timing and is now conducting reviews of about 20 companies. 20 companies! This truly has been shocking to me as I had assumed it would be a half a dozen bad apples at the most. It’s a good reminder to push back if you ever are placed in the position of doing something that "doesn’t feel right."
Some companies are claiming their processes legally involved backdating. For example, in this Form 12b-25 filed by Affiliated Computer Services, the company notes "the Company has granted stock options principally utilizing a process whereby its compensation committee or special compensation committee, as applicable, would approve stock option grants through unanimous written consents with specified effective dates that generally preceded the date on which the consents had been executed by all members of the applicable compensation committee. In connection with option grants to senior executives, the historical practice was for the Company’s chairman, who during periods prior to September 2003 was also a member of the Company’s compensation committee, to engage, on a relatively contemporaneous basis with the effective date specified in the written consent, in individual telephonic discussions with each of the members of the applicable compensation committee, during which the committee member would indicate his approval of the option grants in question." It will be interesting to see if the company’s Chair can prove he made all these phone calls for each grant."
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