A federal district court judge has dismissed criminal fraud charges against the former CFO of chip maker Broadcom, as well as a co-founder of the company who was also charged with illegally backdating stock options.
U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney dismissed charges Tuesday against Broadcoms former CFO William Ruehle, as well as Broadcom co-founder Henry Nicholas III, according to The Wall Street Journal. Both of them had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In 2007, the company had to restate its earnings and report $2.2 billion in expenses for stock options that had been backdated between 1998 and 2003. The judge believes a prosecutor committed misconduct by leaking confidential information to reporters and pressuring a witness to testify in favor of the governments charges by threatening to prosecute him for perjury if he testified the same way he had for securities regulators.
Carney ruled that prosecutors had intimidated witnesses and said they made the case a mockery of justice. He called the governments conduct shameful, according to the Los Angeles Times. Ruehle had faced 14 counts of fraud, conspiracy and lying to auditors and securities regulators.
Last week, Judge Carney also dismissed charges against Broadcom co-founder Henry Samueli, saying there was insufficient evidence that he had committed a crime.
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