by CIO Staff

U.S. Authorities Expand Stock Grants Probe

May 23, 20062 mins
IT Leadership

At least four more tech companies have been added to the list of firms being investigated by U.S. authorities regarding executive stock option grants, including Juniper Networks, F5 Networks, Brooks Automation and Openwave Systems, Bloomberg News reports via The New York Times.

With the news of the four new probes, the total number of companies under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the Department of Justice (DoJ), or both, bumps up to at least 15, Bloomberg reports.

Investigators are attempting to determine if the companies in question purposely shifted stock grants back in time to dates when the stocks were less expensive, in an effort to ensure profitability for executives, according to Bloomberg.

The U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y., requested information on executive stock grants from Juniper, a producer of hardware for controlling Web traffic, and the prosecutor also handed down subpoenas to F5, another producer of Web-traffic hardware, and Brooks Automation, which builds software and machines used to produce chips, according to Bloomberg.

Mobile phone software provider Openwave also received a written inquiry from the SEC, and both F5 and Brooks Automation got similar letters earlier this month, Bloomberg reports.

Juniper said it is cooperating with the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Openwave said it is working with the SEC, and both F5 and Brooks Automation said they’ll cooperate in the investigations as well, according to Bloomberg.

For related news coverage, read Survey: Tech Exec Pay Highest Since Boom.

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