Backdating option stock

At the end of the day, Jobs dodged a bullet because of 1) his value to Apple's shareholders, 2) his value to the U. economy, and 3) just plain luck that neither Apple's board nor the SEC found a smoking gun to force them to do something they didn't want to do.

The tech industry's stock option backdating scandal appears to be gathering steam.

Last week, federal investigators announced criminal charges against former executives of Brocade Communications Systems, and they're hinting that more cases may be on the way.

Meanwhile, Silicon Valley's top lawyers are scrambling to assuage their clients' fears, and the U. Security and Exchange Commission has said that the investigation will expand beyond technology companies to other publicly traded outfits.

To try to answer some questions about what's going on, CNET has compiled the following list of frequently asked questions. Backdating, which refers to the practice of altering the dates of grants, is a way for employees of a company to make additional money from stock options.Those include Altera, Applied Micro Circuits, Asyst Technologies, CNET Networks (publisher of CNET News.com), Equinix, Foundry Networks, Intuit, Marvell Technology Group, RSA Security and Veri Sign.In addition, and The Cheesecake Factory have announced their own, preemptive investigations. Stock options give the recipient the right to buy a share of a company's stock at a price called the strike price, which is equal to the value of the stock on a certain date.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.

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