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Lie: Backdating More Prevalent Than Thought

The first civil charges to be filed in the growing US stock options backdating scandal are likely "very soon", Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Christopher Cox said on Monday. The development shows the speed at which the regulator is moving to address the practice, which has engulfed over 60 mainly technology companies. Separately, a study published at the weekend revealed that over 2,000 companies appear to have used backdated options to boost executives' income. ERIK LIE, whose research in 2004 into the subject was largely behind the current set of probes into the issue, said in a paper published by the University of Iowa that a new statistical analysis of the practice showed that it was far more common than initially thought. It said 29.2 percent of companies had used backdated options, while 13.6 percent of options awarded to executives between 1996 and 2000 had been manipulated of backdated.

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