Monster options backdating

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Last week, former Monster COO James Treacy was convicted by a federal jury in New York City of one count of securities fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, file false statements with the SEC, make false statements to auditors, and falsify books and records. In settling the case Monster is neither admitting nor denying wrongdoing.

However, in the press release issued by the SEC, New York Acting Regional Director unambiguously said, “Monster misled investors by failing to report hundreds of millions of dollars of expenses.

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But the options scandal has never touched a more exciting company than Apple or a more thrilling executive than Jobs. In June 2006, a special committee of Apple outside directors, chaired by former Vice President Al Gore, hired its own attorneys to investigate options backdating at the company. It turns out there were literally thousands of examples of backdating at Apple—6,428 options grants on 42 dates over a period of several years.

After accounting for forfeitures, Apple was forced to recognize stock-based compensation expense of 5 million on a pretax basis that it hadn't done so previously.

The Wall Street Journal (see discussion of articlebelow) pointed out a CEO option grant dated October 1998.

Just days after its former Chief Operating Officer was convicted of stock fraud, Monster Worldwide has agreed to pay .5 million to settle charges brought against the company by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

It turns out that Jobs did, indeed, receive backdated options—just not at his own direction. 18, 2001, when the stock stood at .01, the company gave Jobs a monster 7.5-million-share options grant dated Oct. By doing so, the company gave Jobs million in compensation for which it did not account properly. It also pretended the options grant was approved at a special board meeting, when no such meeting occurred. He received a massive grant that was approved at a phantom board meeting, though he didn't know about the phony meeting.

And he never cashed in those options because they were replaced in 2003 by a grant of restricted stock.

They are the late CEO Andrew Mc Kelvey, General Counsel Myron Olesnyckyj, Controller Anthony Bonica, and Treacy.

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