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Lie Backdating Discovery Prompts Investigations

After the greed and accounting saga of the late 1990s, the stock-options backdating scandal now pounding nearly two dozen companies might seem like little a footnote. But the story isn't over yet: Shareholders have already seen upward of $35 billion of stock market value evaporate at companies that have acknowledged investigations by the Securities & Exchange Commission, the U.S. Justice Department, or their own special committees. And stocks of another dozen or so companies have also been flagged as vulnerable to investigations by Wall Street analysts in a wave of new research reports. "This is still going to have implications for these companies," says ERIK LIE, the associate professor of finance at the University of Iowa who discovered evidence two years ago pointing to widespread backdating.

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