Tencor scandal options backdating


As part of the settlement, KLA-Tencor did not admit or deny the accusations, but agreed to an order that bars it from violating federal securities laws.In the wake of the scandal, KLA-Tencor fired Schroeder, canceled stock options he held and reversed charges for $20 million in options and restricted stock.It also has overhauled its internal controls to prevent a recurrence of the abuses that led the company to restate financial results from 1994 to 2005 to include $370 million in backdating charges.But that might not be the end of the legal troubles for former executives at KLA-Tencor, where co-founder Kenneth Levy, general counsel Stuart Nichols and director Jon Tompkins resigned as the scandal unfolded starting in May 2006.Schroeder did so, an action that violated KLA-Tencor’s procedures, the SEC said.Weiss said both Schroeder and the CFO were sent the e-mail.“Help me, don’t just tell me how to follow a strict interpretation of rules,” Schroeder wrote. His legal team said Schroeder inherited an option-granting process that was set in motion before he was promoted to chief executive, then trusted associates’ advice on legal and accounting issues.

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Schroeder’s attorney Weiss countered that the SEC “misunderstood or distorted the e-mail exchange” with Nichols, saying Schroeder’s “immediately involved and sought advice” from the chief financial officer, who also received the memo. Schroeder was led to believe that the general counsel’s concerns had been addressed,” Weiss said in an e-mail.“Our investigation is ongoing,” said the SEC’s Fogel, who said he would not rule out charges against other former executives.For the time being, at least, the heat in the KLA-Tencor case is focused squarely on Schroeder, 61, who ascended to CEO and director during a 22-year career with the company. Schroeder as the man who “engineered a scheme” to backdate options routinely, the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday filed civil fraud charges accusing him of rigging options for himself and other employees during the tech boom.

As proof, the SEC cited a March 2001 e-mail in which Schroeder apparently berated the company’s top attorney for writing a memo that stated that granting discounted stock options would expose the company to accounting charges.

At both companies, Berry allegedly routinely backdated stock options for employees between 19.



Tencor scandal options backdating comments


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