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FAQ: Behind the stock options uproar - CNET News Backdating - Definition of Backdating on Investopedia - Dating any. The Steve Jobs Effect..the Backdating Scandal - Business Week .In researching this post, I came across a number of recent reports on Henry Nicholas III, the once high-flying CEO and cofounder of Broadcom. While the story was enthralling, I didn't understand what any of it had to do with a federal investigation into stock option backdating.The allegations of illicit sex, drugs, and rock and roll reminded me of the 60s ... Sure, Broadcom had to take a .2 billion charge to fix the accounting mess left by the company's former executives.Anderson had already retired in 2004 so, except for giving up some money and his board seat, he got off relatively easy, compared to Heinen.
Worst case, it happened on Jobs' watch, but he was far enough removed from the action to claim plausible deniability. Broadcom and others fingered the CEO, but that just shows how subjective this issue is.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.You see, if you backdate stock options to a date when the price of the stock was lower, then the options are "in-the-money" when granted.That means the company incurs an expense equal to the difference in the share price between the two dates.