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Backdating Cases to Close Without Enforcement Action

Taub Stephen | November 6, 2007

A top Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement official tells Compliance Week the regulator will likely close out a large number of its options backdating cases in the near future without taking any enforcement action.

And in a break from its recent practice, the official, Walter Ricciardi, deputy director of the Division of Enforcement, said the SEC will send a letter to all of its targets informing them they are no longer being probed.
“It’s a new policy,” Ricciardi confirms.

Sure enough, just the last week alone, two semiconductor companies—Nvidia and PMC-Sierra—announced that the SEC notified them by letter that the staff’s investigation into their company’s stock option practices has been terminated and that no enforcement action against the company has been recommended.

Ricciardi confirmed to Compliance Week that the SEC has investigated about 130 companies. That number—which mirrors the figure...

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