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Kurtz, as Audit Committee Chair, led an independent investigation of stock option practices at both companies.

The results of the independent investigation concluded that there was no evidence of stock option backdating at either company,” the company said.

(The Washington Post reported this week that that number had swelled to 135.) Through the end of last month, the number of companies being probed that have director-based links has grown even faster, from 11 to 51, according to the study, “The Spread of Options Backdating.” Twenty-seven of the 120 companies, in fact, have more than one dual-board director.

Just three such companies popped up in the Corporate Library’s earlier study.

Verisign has five dual-board directors, while Juniper Networks and Xilinx have four. The Corporate Library’s study incorrectly reported, however, that Kurtz is a member of the board of Novellus Systems Inc.

According to the study, two directors in the network of option-scandal boards—William H. It also incorrectly reported that Kevin Royal is a member of Novellus’s board.

Juniper Networks has agreed to pay a massive $169 million fee to settle a class-action lawsuit with New York Clity pension funds and other investors over a backdated stock options scandal.

The settlement will be major blow to Juniper's bottom line.

In a regulatory filing Wednesday, the company said it expects the charge will reduce its fiscal Q4 2009 profit of 1m down to just m.

Backdating is the practice of retroactively changing the date of when employee stock options are granted to a time when the purchase price was lower to boost the recipient's profit.

The company settled charges over its options practices with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in 2007 without admitting wrongdoing or paying a fine.

In 2007, the SEC also filed fraud charges against Berry for her alleged role in the backdating scandal. On Thursday, Juniper Networks also said it has setup a new business group to create new applications for its Junos operating system and get more third-party developers in on the act as well.

in an October 25 response to The Corporate Library’s study, “The Spread of Options Backdating.” A company mired in the options backdating scandal is likely to have something in common with other companies caught in the scandal: a director who sits on the board of at least one other implicated company.

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