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Lie Surprised By Comverse Legal Jeopardy

Stock option backdating has resulted in criminal charges against Comverse executives, including CEO Kobi Alexander. ERIC LIE, a professor of finance at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, says he's surprised that the Alexander case escalated into a federal manhunt. Earlier this year, Lie's study of stock trends raised red flags about the awarding of stock options and led to publicity in the Wall Street Journal that prompted the federal probe. Lie said that improper backdating of stock options was "widespread" among hundreds of publicly traded companies. Nevertheless, Lie said, "I thought there would have been tax consequences, not necessarily criminal consequences."

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