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Update 1: Backdating cases against Broadcom execs dismissed

Publication Date: 
December 15, 2009
Source: 
Forbes - Reuters
Author: 
Gina Keating

Professor Robert Weisberg, an expert on white collar crime, is quoted in Forbes on misconduct in the Broadcom stock options backdating trial:

A U.S. judge tossed out criminal and civil charges against Broadcom Corp's co-founder Henry Nicholas III and former Chief Financial Officer William Ruehle on Tuesday and told the government not to bother trying to reinstate the stock options backdating-related cases because of misconduct by prosecutors.

U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney acquitted Ruehle, who was in the midst of trial in Santa Ana, California, on backdating-related charges, and dismissed with prejudice the indictment against Nicholas, whose trial was set for 2010.

...

Stanford Law School professor Robert Weisberg said the era of stock options backdating prosecutions, which touched more than 170 U.S. companies but led to no convictions of top executives, should caution prosecutors probing possible criminal activity during the recession.

"In the atmosphere of public concern of corruption (in the post Enron era), stock options backdating was attractive to prosecutors because they wanted to score a big victory but they didn't think it through," Weisberg said. "They should resist pressure to satisfy the public interest (by) scapegoating."