Stock option backdating 2016

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This awkwardly-named bill would place more restrictions on deductions for executive compensation – in this case, just for stock options.

The current

This awkwardly-named bill would place more restrictions on deductions for executive compensation – in this case, just for stock options.The current $1 million deduction limit for cash compensation is arguably a major factor in the 1990s stock option frenzy and the resulting option backdating scandal.

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This awkwardly-named bill would place more restrictions on deductions for executive compensation – in this case, just for stock options.

The current $1 million deduction limit for cash compensation is arguably a major factor in the 1990s stock option frenzy and the resulting option backdating scandal.

million deduction limit for cash compensation is arguably a major factor in the 1990s stock option frenzy and the resulting option backdating scandal.

Even Steve Jobs, the iconic boss of Apple, did it—though, unlike dozens of other executives, he has not (so far) had his collar felt by the authorities.

Politics aside, few would argue that GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson—a retired pediatric neurosurgeon—isn’t a bright guy.

So what does it mean that, while serving on Costco’s board from 2002 to 2005, Ben Carson was accused of granting over 1.01 million shares worth of illegally backdated stock options?

The allegations stem from two shareholder derivative complaints and their consolidated settlement: documents obtained by Gawker that list Carson as a co-defendant alongside most of Costco’s board and several of its C-level executives. Attorney’s Office investigation was looking at backdating from 1996-2003. Attorney’s Office and their multiagency task force, however, ultimately declined to pursue criminal charges after considering “multiple actions taken by Costco executives, including the fact that Costco self-reported the backdating to the SEC [in 2006].”The complaints were filed in September 2008 and June 2009 respectively, by Pirelli Armstrong Tire Corporation Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, a Tennessee-based employees beneficiary association, and by Daniel Buckfire, a random guy from Michigan with, you know, Costco stock.

The suits accused Costco’s board, and in particular members like Ben Carson who served on its “compensation committee,” with essentially cherry-picking the issue dates for Costco’s nonqualified stock options. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington state came to similar conclusions after conducting a two-year investigation into Costco’s executive compensation practices. But this shareholders’ derivative suit covered a slightly wider range, 1995-2005, for the backdating fraud itself, and covered up to the date of the filing, 2009-ish, for all those “by-product” charges, like the inaccurate SEC filings. Their stats-heavy, 141-page consolidated complaint (which you can read in full here) was settled in plaintiffs’ favor in June 2011, forcing Costco to overhaul its corporate governance.

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